Zizia aurea

Common name: Golden Alexanders Family: Umbelliferae
Author: (L.)Koch. Botanical references: 200
Known Hazards: There is a report that the root might be toxic222.
Range: Eastern N. America – Quebec to Saskatchewan and south to Texas and Florida..
Habitat: Moist meadowland200. Dry woods and rocky outcrops222. Low woods in Texas274.
Edibility Rating (1-5): 2 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 1
Other Common Names: From various places around the Web, may not be correct. See below.
Golden Alexander’s H, Golden Alexanders B, Golden Zizia P,
Epithets: From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
aurea = golden;
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Apiales. Renamed to Apiaceae — Carrot family

Physical Characteristics

Perennial growing to 0.75m. It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile. We rate it 2/5 for edibility and 1/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Woodland, Sunny Edge.

Edible Uses


The flowers, with the main stem removed, are a welcome addition to a tossed green salad. They are also a delicious cooked vegetable when used in a similar manner to broccoli


Medicinal Uses

Febrifuge; Hypnotic; Vulnerary.

A tea made from the root is febrifuge

222, 257. The root is also believed to be vulnerary and hypnotic222.

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Requires a moist soil and a position in full sun200. Suitable for the wild garden and other informal plantings as well as collections of native wild flowers200.


Seed – we have no information for this species but it is probably best sown in spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.