Sign up for News & Availability Emails
Site Search:
Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Zizia aurea

golden Alexanders or golden zizia

Golden clusters of 3-4" umbels in May and June. Deep green, leathery, handsomely divided basal foliage. Native to wooded bottomlands, stream banks, moist meadows, and floodplains east of the Rockies. Very attractive to butterflies.

Zizia aurea LP50 - 50 per flat Availability
Add to My North Creek Nurseries Wish List


24-30 Inches


3-4 Feet


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

golden Alexanders Interesting Notes

While a dearth of non-native plants may bloom in the odd months of late spring and early summer, Zizia aurea is a native perennial that delights with golden clusters of 3-4" umbels in May and June. The deep green, leathery, handsomely divided basal foliage provides nice counter to bolder foliage of other plants and golden Alexander grows a manageable 24-30” tall and 24” wide. In the wild, it tends to create small colonies in woodland areas and moist, shady meadows.

Found in wooded bottomlands, stream banks, moist meadows, and floodplains, Zizia aurea is common in North America east of the Rockies. The plant performs best in consistently moist to wet, well-drained soils in full to partial shade. The plant is able to self-pollinate and will grow into a colony over time. Once established, golden Alexander can tolerate summer dry periods and performs well under dappled shade of large trees. That being said, foliage will depreciate during drought conditions.

Golden Alexander winds its way following a rocky embankment in our trial gardens – planted some time ago, the perennial has spread and created a groundcover in a tricky area beneath a sycamore where the soil is wet but rocky. This plant supports the larval stage of several Swallowtail butterfly species including Missouri Woodland Swallowtail butterfly, black Swallowtail, and Ozark Swallowtail. Additionally, the flat-topped umbels are ideal for a host of pollinators including bees, wasps, flies, and beetles. It is a great addition to meadows, natural areas, and pollinator gardens for its accessible nectar supply during a period where not as much may be found and appeal to such a wide variety of insects.

Zizia aurea Growing and Maintenance Tips

Needs consistantly moist to wet, well-drained soils in full to partial shade. Best used in the shady, naturalized or woodland garden.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Wetland Indicator Status
Falcutative (FAC)
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Native to North America
Clay Tolerance
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Propagation Type