Native Plant of the Week: Golden Alexanders

Family: Apiaceae


Name: Zizia aurea - Golden Alexanders


Bloom Time: May - June


Flower: Yellow


Soil Condition: Moist, well drained


Light: Sun to Partial Shade


Height: 18-36" tall by 18-24" wide


Native Range: Eastern North America including Long Island


Zone: 3 to 8

Pictures by KMS Native Plants LLC: Top Row: early foliage, flower buds, young Black Swallowtail caterpillar. Bottom Row: Black Swallowtail caterpillars, fall foliage


Zizia aurea is a short-lived, clump forming perennial in the carrot family. It self sows readily in the garden, so it will always be around. It blooms during a time when there is not much else flowering in the garden. Even though the plant is capable of self-pollination, the flowers are very attractive to many short-tongued insects from flies, bees, wasps and beetles. Makes a great fresh cut and dried flower (dry seed heads turn purple). Foliage turns a deep purple in the fall. Deer resistance is moderate.

Alternative for Drier Sites: Zizia aptera - Heart-leaf Alexanders

Maintenance: Remove the seed heads to reduce self sowing.


Benefits: host plant for the Eastern Black Swallowtail, nectar source, pollinators, tolerates some drought


Companion Plants: Monarda fistulosa - Wild Bergamot, Carex bicknellii - Bicknell's Sedge, Rudbeckia hirta - Gloriosa Daisy, Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium

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References:

1. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/zizia-aurea/

2. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ziau

3. http://www.newmoonnursery.com/plant/Zizia-aureus







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