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Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea)

Host Plant: Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), Ozark Swallowtail (Papilio joanae) and Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth (Papaipema rigida)

Nectar Plant: bees, wasps, beetles, and flies

Flower Color: yellow

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial that grows to 1-3 feet tall

Range in North America: Native east of the Rocky Mountains

Exposure: Full sun to shade

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Soil Requirements: sandy to clayey moist soils that are well-drained and slightly acidic to alkaline soils

Meadow Parsnip and Wild Parsley

Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea), a member of Apiaceae (Carrot Family) is a herbaceous perennial that has yellow umbellate flowers in the spring and early summer up to July.  It is reported to be deer resistant by people who have grown this plant.

More information about Golden Alexander can be found on this blog post.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail on Fence – Kaldari, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ozark Swallowtail (Papilio joanae)

Ozark Swallowtail – Charles T. and John R. Bryson, CC BY 3.0 US, via Wikimedia Commons

Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth (Papaipema rigida)

Rigid Sunflower Borer Moth – Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many other insects including short and long-tongued bees, wasps, flies, and beetles use this plant as a nectar source.

Golden Alexander naturally grows in moist black soil prairies, moist to mesic woodlands, thickets, limestone glades, and abandoned fields.  Golden Alexander is found in the mid-western and eastern North America.

The genus was named for the German Botanist, Johann Baptist Ziz.  The species name, aurea, means “gold” in Latin as presumably refers to the color of the flowers.  This plant was named the 2012 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year.


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