|Also known as:||Golden Zizia|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; moist fields, thickets, rich open woods, along streams|
|Bloom season:||May - July|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in flat-topped clusters (umbels) 2 to 3 inches across, in 10 to 18 groups (umbellets) of up to 20 flowers each. Individual flowers are about 1/8 inch across with 5 yellow petals that fold inward and 5 yellow stamens. One plant may have several clusters.
Leaves are 2 or 3 times compound in groups of 3. Leaflets are to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, with sharply toothed edges and pointed tips. The end leaflet is largest and usually tapers to a narrow base, though leaflet shape varies and may be oval, egg shaped, irregular, lobed or divided into 2 or 3 parts.
Golden Alexanders often grow in colonies. In late spring and early summer it is a common sight across Minnesota in open prairies, woodland edges, and roadsides with adequate moisture. Similar species is Heart-leaved Alexanders (Zizia aptera), which has long-stalked, undivided, heart-shaped lower leaves, where Golden Alexanders has all compound leaves. Also similar is Yellow Pimpernel (Taenidia integerrima), which has rather airier clusters and toothless leaflets.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County, and along a roadside in Aitkin County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.
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