Golden Alexanders is one of those natives that every garden should have. It is fairly easy to grow and, although short-lived, will self-seed and persist in many sun/soil situations. It is an important plant to a number of short-tongued insects that are able to easily reach the nectar in the small yellow flowers. Black Swallowtail caterpillars will feed on its leaves. Golden Alexanders occur most often in small colonies in moist woods and meadows, thickets, glades and prairies, and features flat-topped clusters (compound umbels) of tiny yellow flowers in late spring atop stems growing to 3′ tall. It is a member of the Carrot (Apiaceae) family, but is distinguished from other carrot family members by the absence of a flower stalk on the central flower of each umbel. Both basal and stem leaves are compound biternate with toothed leaflets.
Golden Alexanders have a long bloom time, giving the garden/prairie some well-deserved early color for several weeks in late spring to early summer when many other plants have not yet flowered. Also called Golden Zizia, Golden Alexanders will tolerate a lot of shade but prefer full sun or light shade.
Click here for more information from USDA-NRCS.