Name: Zizia aurea - Golden Alexanders
Bloom Time: May - June
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