Zizia aurea

Common Names: Golden alexanders, golden zizia
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Carrot family

This native North American flower usually ranges in height from 40 cm to 75 cm but can sometimes grow taller. The leaves of the golden alexanders can up to 8 cm long and 5 cm wide. They are normally lanceolate or ovate in shape. Other distinguishing factors of the leaves are that they have serrated edges as well as two or three lobes in the leaf. Their flowers are yellow in color and bunched at the top of the plant. Each flower is only 3 mm long and has five sepals, five petals, and five stamens. Each flower produces a single 3 to 4 mm long, oblong, green fruit capsule. These fruit change color as the year goes on and contain a brown seed. In the fall both the leaves and the fruits turn purple.

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. Blooms from May to June.

Primary Flower Color: Yellow
Secondary Flower Color: Yellow
Edible Notes: There is some conflicting information about edibility. Some sources suggest that the plant may be toxic, or only parts of it, such as the roots. One report says that the flower clusters are edible raw and cooked and that the stem is edible (like celery).
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.