golden alexanders

(Zizia aurea)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

golden alexanders

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

     
Occurrence

Common

     
Habitat

Moderate moisture to wet. Moist prairies, savannas, thickets, woodland edges and openings, and trailsides. Sandy soil. Full sun to partial shade.

     
Flowering

May to July

     
Flower Color

Yellow

     
Height

12 to 24

     

Identification

This is a 12 to 24 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a dense cluster of coarse, fibrous, tuberous-thickened roots.

The stems are erect or ascending, hairless or nearly hairless, keeled, and branched above the middle.

Basal leaves are more or less circular in outline, 1½ to 5½ long and wide, and on long leaf stalks. They are divided into 3 stalked leaflets (ternate), or divided into 3 stalked segments, each segment divided into 3 leaflets (biternate). The central leaflets on biternate leaves are stalked, the lateral 2 leaflets unstalked.

Stem leaves are alternate and similar to basal leaves. Lower stem leaves are large and on long leaf stalks. They may be divided into 3 main divisions, with each division divided into 3 segments, and each segment divided into 3 leaflets (triternate), or they may be biternate. The leaves become progressively smaller, less divided, and on shorter leaf stalks as they ascend the stem. Upper stem leaves are nearly stalkless and once ternate.

The leaflets are egg-shaped to lance-shaped, 1 to 4¾ long, and ½ to 1¼ wide. They are hairless, rounded or tapered asymmetrically at the base, and tapered to a point or blunt at the tip. They may have 1 or 2 shallow lobes. The margins are sharply toothed with 5 to 10 fine, forward-pointing teeth every .

The inflorescence is a compound umbel at the end of the stem and branches. It is up to 3 in diameter and has 11 to 16 slender, ¼ to 2 long branches (rays). There is no bract at the base of the umbel. At the end of each ray is a small umbel (umbellet). There are 11 to 19 or more individual flowers in each umbellet. The central flower in each umbellet is stalkless or nearly stalkless. There is a leaf-like bract at the base of each umbellet.

The flowers are about across. The 5 petals are bright yellow and curve inward. There are 5 yellow stamens with yellow anthers. Some of the stamens do not protrude above the petals. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is dry, oval to egg-shaped, 1 16 to long, 1 16 wide achene. It is ribbed but is not winged. At maturity it splits into 2 segments, each containing 1 seed.

 
Similar
Species

Heart-leaved golden alexanders (Zizia aptera) basal leaves and sometimes lower stem leaves are heart-shaped, not compound and not lobed.

Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is much taller, up to 60 tall at maturity. The leaves are pinnately compound with 5 to 15 leaflets.

Yellow meadow parsnip (Thaspium barbinode) umbellets have a central flower that is on a short but distinct flower stalk. The achenes are winged.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Apiaceae (carrot)

 

Subfamily:

Apioideae

 

No Rank:

apioid superclade

 

No Rank:

Selineae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

common golden alexanders

golden alexanders

golden zizia


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

biternate

Twice ternate. A leaf divided into 3 segments, with each segment divided into 3 leaflets.

 

bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

keeled

Folded, as in a grass blade, or with a raised ridge, as in a grass sheath; like the keel of a boat.

 

pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

ray

A strap-shaped flower, or the strap-shaped portion of a flower, in the Asteraceae (aster) family. A branch of an umbel in the Apiaceae (carrot) family.

 

ternate

Refers to leaves that are divided into three leaflets or sections.

 

triternate

Three times ternate. A leaf divided into 3 main divisions, with each division divided into 3 segments, and each segment divided into 3 leaflets.

 

umbel

A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

 

umbellet

A secondary umbel in a compound umbel.

 

wing

A thin, flat, membranous, usually transparent appendage on the margin of a structure.

       

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Habitat

  golden alexanders    
       

Plant

  golden alexanders   golden alexanders
       
  golden alexanders    
       

Inflorescence

  golden alexanders    
       

Leaves

  golden alexanders   golden alexanders
       

Infructescence

  golden alexanders   golden alexanders
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea)  
     
  Zizia aurea GOLDEN ALEXANDERS
Frank Mayfield
 
  Zizia aurea GOLDEN ALEXANDERS  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Early Spring Growth - Pussy Toes, Golden Alexander, Canada Columbine & Prairie Smoke
MNNativePlants
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 28, 2013

Rich looks at some early spring growth in the native planting. The plants shown are Pussy Toes (Antennaria Plantaginifolia), Golden Alexander (Zizia Aurea), Canada Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis) & Prairie Smoke (Geum Triflorum).

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

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Crystal Boyd
6/2/2013

Location: Pine Bend Bluffs SNA


     
     
 

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