Common Name: Golden Alexanders
Scientific Name: Zizia aurea
Habitat & Range: wet ditches, field, and woods
Bloom Time: spring
About: I bought a couple of these native perennials at a native plant sale in 2009 and they have found a happy home in my shady garden. In fact, they are spreading. The problem is, they’re really only attractive (in the sense of not looking like a weed) when they’re in bloom, which isn’t for very long in the spring. But if you have a woodland garden, they are quite nice as it’s hard to get many flowers in such a setting. They are part of the carrot family and sometimes confused with Wild Parsnip. They are also related to Water Hemlock. In the past they were used to heal wounds and relieve fevers and syphilis, though I couldn’t speak to their effectiveness.
Reference: Wildflowers of Michigan by Stan Tekiela; Adventure Publications, 2000