Zizia aurea (L.) Koch - Golden Alexanders
Family - Apiaceae
Stems - To 1m tall, glabrous, herbaceous, carinate, erect, branching, from thickened roots.
Leaves - Alternate, sessile, ternately divided. Petiolules winged. Petiolule of terminal leaflet to -4cm long. Petiolule of lateral leaflets to 1.5cm long. Wings -1mm broad. Leaflets glabrous, serrate, typically ovate-lanceolate, often irregularly divided again. Larger leaflets to 7cm long, 2.5cm broad.
Inflorescence - Terminal compound umbels. Main rays +/-20, to +4cm long, glabrous, subtended by attenuate bracts. Bracts to 4mm long. Rays of umbellets to 4mm long, glabrous. Central flower of each umbellet sessile.
Flowers - Petals 5, yellow, 2mm long, glabrous, incurved. Stamens 5, alternating with petals, spreading to erect, exserted. Filaments pale yellow, 1.8mm long. Anthers yellow, .3mm long. Fruit to ovoid-oblong, to 4mm long, 2mm broad.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Prairies, glades, fields, thickets, rich open woods.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - The species
name - aurea - means "golden" and the flowers are
certainly that. This species is quite striking when in flower and usually
occurs in colonies. The flower petals are typically always folded in on
Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-2-00, and in Eminence, MO., 5-23-03.