Plant of the Week: Golden Alexanders

 
Golden alexanders, found in sunny locations throughout the Nature Boardwalk site, is a native perennial prevalent in damp woods and meadows, thickets, glades and prairies. It features flat-topped clusters of tiny yellow flowers bunched atop stems. Both basal (base of the stem) and stem leaves are compound biternate (divided in three) with toothed leaflets. Golden alexanders is a food plant for the larvae of the Illinois woodland swallowtail butterfly and provides nectar to many beneficial insects.

Common Name: golden alexanders

Scientific Name: Zizea aurea

Family: Apiaceae

Native Status: Eastern Canada to southern United States

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial

Height: 1.5 – 3 feet

Flowering Time: May – June

Flower Color: Yellow

Interest: Late spring, early summer showy flowers; makes good cut flower; attracts butterflies

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