Zizia aurea

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Zizia aurea
Golden Alexanders Zizia aurea Flowers 3008px.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Zizia
Species: Z. aurea
Binomial name
Zizia aurea
(L.) W.D.J. Koch
Zizia Native Map.svg
  • Smyrnium aureum L.
  • Zizia aurea f. obtusifolia (Bissell) Fernald
  • Zizia aurea var. obtusifolia Bissell

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders, golden zizia) is a flowering perennial forb of the carrot family (Apiaceae). It is hardy in USDA zones 4-9. It can be found from New Brunswick to Saskatchewan in Canada, south to Florida and Texas in the United States.[2]



It usually ranges in height from 40 to 75 centimetres (16 to 30 in) tall but can sometimes grow taller. The leaves can grow up to 8 cm (3 14 in) long and 5 cm (2 in) wide. They are attached to the stems alternately. They are compound and odd-pinnate, with leaflets that are normally lanceolate or ovate and have serrated edges.

It blooms from May to June. Its flowers are yellow and bunched at the top of the plant. Each flower is only 3 mm (0.12 in) long and has five sepals, five petals, and five stamens. Each flower produces a single 3 to 4 mm (0.12 to 0.16 in) long, oblong fruit (schizocarp) containing two seeds. The fruit changes color as the year goes on. In the fall both the leaves and the fruit turn purple.

Range and habitat[edit]

It is most often found in habitats such as moist black soil prairies, openings in moist to mesic woodlands, savannas, thickets, limestone glades and bluffs, power line clearings in woodland areas, abandoned fields, and wet meadows. It is known for its ability to survive dry summers even though it prefers wet habitats.


It is a host plant for the caterpillars of the black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes asterius) and Ozark swallowtail (Papilio joanae) butterflies.[3]


  1. ^ The Plant List, Zizia aurea
  2. ^ USDA NRCS Plant Fact Sheet for Z. aurea Retrieved 2010-03-08
  3. ^ Hilty, John (2016). "Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)". Illinois Wildflowers. 

External links[edit]