Zizia aurea

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: golden Alexander 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Eastern Canada to southern United States
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Zizia aurea, commonly called golden Alexander, is a Missouri native perennial which occurs most often in small colonies in moist woods and meadows, thickets, glades and prairies. Features flat-topped clusters (compound umbels) of tiny yellow flowers in late spring atop stems growing to 3' tall. Distinguished from other carrot family members by the absence of a flower stalk on the central flower of each umbel. Both basal and stem leaves are compound biternate with toothed leaflets. The similar Zizia aptera has simple, heart-shaped basal leaves. Golden Alexander is a food plant for the larvae of the Missouri woodland swallowtail butterfly (Papilio joanae).

Genus name honors German botanist Johann Baptist Ziz (d. 1829).

Specific epithet means golden.


No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage tends to depreciate as the summer progresses. In ideal conditions can reseed heavily.


Best massed in open woodland or prairie areas, wild or native plant gardens.