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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
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24-30 Inches


3-4 Feet


12-18 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

golden Alexanders Interesting Notes

The flat-topped yellow umbels of golden Alexanders, consisting of up to 20 individual tiny flowers and similar in shape to Queen-Ann’s-lace, are the primary highlight of this carefree species. It is a rugged colonizing plant, with simple heart-shaped basal leaves and compound, deeply toothed leaflets on stems growing 2-2½’ tall. Zizia aurea is found in moist woodlands, meadows and thickets and is best suited to an informal setting in full sun to light shade in average, well-drained soil. Plant at the edge of a meadow with Erigeron pulchellus, Geranium maculatum, Phlox pilosa ssp. ozarkanaSolidago caesia, Amsonia tabernaemontana, and Packera aurea. - Mt. Cuba Center

A host plant for the Missouri Woodland Swallowtail butterfly.  Members of the Carrot Family are easy to recognize. They all have small 5-parted flowers, usually white or yellow, arranged in clusters called umbels, i.e. individual flowers are on stalks arranged like the spokes of an umbrella. The ridged stems are hollow between the nodes; the leaves are alternate, usually divided, and the base of each leaf stalk ends in a sheath that surrounds the stem. Both the foliage and the seeds have oils that are aromatic. The family has many edible species (carrot, parsnip, celery, dill) and many that are poisonous [poison hemlock, spotted water hemlock (see the Archive), water parsnip]. While the family is easy to recognize, individual species are often not, so it's best not to consume plants in this family growing wild.  -Wisconsin Plant of the Week

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.

Native Distribution

Key Characteristics & Attributes

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

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Plug Type
Landscape Plug™
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Green Infrastructure
Native to North America
Propagation Type