Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea


Golden Alexanders are an excellent native garden species that should feature in almost any native planting. Much like penstemons, golden alexanders bloom relatively early. They occupy a niche between the early spring when flowers like the pasque flower and prairie smoke are blooming and early summer when the bulk of native prairie flowers begin blooming.

They have a fairly long bloom time lasting a number of weeks and serve as both a host plant and pollen source for numerous native insects, including many short tongued insects and the black swallowtail.

It is very similar to the heart-leaved alexander, often only being able to be differentiated by the characteristic heart shaped leaves of that species. Additionally, it is possible to mistake golden alexander for the highly invasive wild parsnip. Wild parsnip is a larger plant, has leaves that differ in shape, and causes painful skin burns when touched.

Life Cycle: Perennial
Size: 3 feet
Sun: Full, Partial
Soil: Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry
Bloom Time:  May, June
Advantages: Pollinator Favorite Bird Favorite: Habitat, Food Source Deer Resistant Highly recommended for home gardens