The Plant Store will re-open for sales the week of May 13th, 2024 for local pickup

  • Please see the Using the Plant Library  page  for some tips on how to make the most of the information here to select species for creating a healthy native plant community suited to the conditions of your site.
  • I'm currently working on shifting the store part of this site over to more complex software that will allow for filtering by multiple plant traits and making wish lists of species you would like to order, so please bear with me when it comes to announcing the exact species offerings for 2024 (there will be lots, including some species not previously offered).

Zizia aurea, Golden Alexanders 

Zizia aurea

Golden Alexanders 

  • Full sun to light shade
  • Average to dry soil
  • 18" to 36" tall and wide
  • Ontario Native, Beginner Friendly, Happy in meadows and open woodlands, as well as cultivated gardens.

Ever wonder what black swallowtail caterpillars ate before carrots, dill and parsley arrived here?

Among other things, these lovely plants, one of several native species that belong to the Apiaceae family of umbel flowering plants.

The Zizia (isn’t that such a cool name?) in my urban garden started out as a single plant and has, over two or three years, expanded outward to form a ring of crowns that sent up a lovely show of chartreuse blossoms last spring. 

The mounded foliage stayed fairly low, not much more than 12”, with the blooming stems growing to around 30” in height. Given their blooming season and stature, I think that they would be striking in combination with Red Columbine in a location with dappled shade. American Alumroot, Hairy Beardtongue, Heart-leaved Aster and Bluestem Goldenrod would a few others that I think would be good neighbours and spread out the blooming season. Thimbleweed and Black Cohosh could provide a bit more architectural form and would be quite happy in similar growing conditions. 

Fill in the spaces with Sedges, Woodland Phlox and Lance Leaf Prunella and you’d have a season long symphony of blooms and the start of semi-shaded ecosystem.

Their bloom and foliage form mean that they can easily be mistaken for feral Parsnip, which could result in a call to bylaw or well intended removal by a concerned neighbour if they are planted near a sidewalk or roadway. They may be more of a backyard plant to avoid any unfortunate outcomes of mistaken identity.

Soil wise, they are doing just fine in well drained garden soil and don’t seem to be stressed by dry conditions during the peak of summer. Their base foliage remains deep green and full through to fall, which isn’t always the case for earlier blooming native species.

The blooming stems naturally brown as the seeds mature. They tend to fade into the surrounding plants in my very packed patch but, if you are bothered by the stems, you can clip them to the height of the remaining foliage after the seeds have fallen, been gathered or been eaten.

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Species that were not sown / aren't being sown for 2023 are marked with an * 
Species that are native to this continent, but not historically native to Ontario are marked with a ~ 
While it rarely comes up, I do reserve the right to limit plant quantities, mostly to help ensure that as many native plant gardens as possible become a reality