Such a pretty plant with amazing pollinator powers!
Upright habit with branching, erect, reddish stems. Shiny, deep green leathery leaves. Lower leaves are divided into threes twice while the upper leaves are divided once. Compound umbel, yellow flower clusters gather into a large, flat-topped flower head. Each umbel can contain as many as 250 florets that are less than 1/8 inch long. Each tiny flower has 5 sepals, 5 petals, and 5 stamens. Distinguished from other carrot family members by the absence of a flower stalk on the central flower of each umbel. Dry seedheads turn purple, adding summer interest.
Attracts butterflies. Larval host to black swallowtail butterfly. Special value to native bees and supports beneficial insects.
Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Z. aurea has a preference for wetter sites, as opposed to its cousin, Z. aptera, which has a preference for drier sites. (We sell both!) Individual plants are short lived, but golden alexander maintains a presence in the garden by re-seeding, so leave those seedheads standing! Able to self-pollinate and will grow into a colony over time.
Height: 1.5-3 ft.
Spread: 1.5-2 ft.
Bloom time: May to June
Sun: full sun to part shade
Naturalize, rain garden
photo credit: Superior National Forest