Where Commonly Found: Floodplains, forests, meadows, fields, shores of rivers and lakes. CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT.
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key for Zizia aurea.
Missouri Botanical Garden’s description of Zizia aurea. Click on more images.
Flower Type: Slightly rounded compound umbels of yellow flowers at the ends of upper stems, 2″ – 3″ across with approximately 12 umbellets and 21 flowers in each umbellets. The central flower is sessile (or almost so) during blooming. Each flower is about /8″ across with 5 incurved petals and 5 stamens. Generally no scent.
Flower Time: May to June
Leaf Arrangement: Compound leaves, alternate becoming shorter upward along main central stem with occasional lateral stems.
Leaf Type: Medium green, compound leaves, hairless and odd-pinnate with 3 or 5 leaflets. The variable leaflets are up to 3: long and 2″ across, lanceolate, ovate, cordate or broadly oblong with serrated margins. Larger leaflets may have 1 -2 cleft lobes.
Height: 1.5′ – 3′
Seed Collection: The seeds are flattened and oblong with many light colored longitudinal ridges. Seeds are ripe when fruit splits and the single seeds are brown.
Attracts: Bees and Butterflies
Light: Full Sun to Part Sun
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 8 USDA Zone Map
Notes: Zizia aurea (Golden Zizia) is a short-lived but self-seeding beauty, that supports unique, showy chartreuse/yellow umbels attractive to bees and many beneficial insects.
Native to Eastern, Southern, Midwestern US: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).