heart-leaved golden alexanders

(Zizia aptera)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

heart-leaved golden alexanders

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Moderate moisture to wet. Moist prairies, wood openings, savannas, thickets. Sandy soil. Full sun.

 
Flowering

May to July

 
Flower Color

Yellow

 
Height

12 to 36

 

Identification

This is a 12 to 36 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 and sometimes lower stem leaves are usually heart-shaped, neither lobed nor compound, ¾ to 5 long, about 3 wide, and on long leaf stalks. Sometimes they are divided into 3 stalked leaflets (ternate), or 3 lobes.

Stem leaves are usually ternate, occasionally undivided, occasionally divided into 3 lobes, sometimes with each lobe divided into 3 secondary lobes. 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 1¼ 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

Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea) basal leaves and lower stem leaves are always ternate or biternate, never heart-shaped. Lower stem leaves are usually triternate or biternate.

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

Zizia aptera var. occidentalis

Zizia cordata

 
Common
Names

heart-leaf alexanders

heart-leaved golden alexanders

heartleaf Alexanders

meadow zizia

meadowparsnip

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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Inflorescence

  heart-leaved golden alexanders   heart-leaved golden alexanders
       

Basal Leaves

  heart-leaved golden alexanders   heart-leaved golden alexanders
       
  heart-leaved golden alexanders    
       

Lower Stem Leaves

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Upper Stem Leaves

  heart-leaved golden alexanders    
       
       

 

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