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Heart-leaved Meadow Parsnip Zizia aptera

Phonetic Spelling
ZIZ-ee-uh AP-ter-uh
Description

Heart-leaf Golden-Alexanders is a herbaceous perennial found in moist woodland areas, thickets, glades, prairies, and clearings.  It can grow singly or in small colonies/clumps. 

The absence of a flower stalk on the central flower of each umbel makes this variety different from other members of the carrot family.  Sometimes confused with Zizia aurea, its simple, heart-shaped basal leaves make this variety unique.  

A typical plant can have 2 or more clusters of flowers.  These flat-topped clusters bloom in late spring to early summer on the upper stems.  These umbels (a flower cluster with stalks of equal length that form a common center) are 2-3" across and contain 7-15 umbellets,  The umbellets each have 10-20 flowers.  Each tiny flower has 5 petals that remain nearly closed.  The tiny flowers are a mere 1/8" across. 

Bees, pollinating flies, butterflies, beetles, and other plant insects seek the nectar and pollen from this plants flowers.  The caterpillars of the black swallowtail butterfly eat the foliage.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  The late summer foliage may become depleted.  This plant may be short-lived.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#wildlife plant#native perennial#cut flowers#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#cutting garden#alkaline soil tolerant#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#native#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#audubon#black swallowtail butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#wildlife plant#native perennial#cut flowers#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#cutting garden#alkaline soil tolerant#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#native#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#audubon#black swallowtail butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zizia
    Species:
    aptera
    Family:
    Apiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NH, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, WA, WI, WV, WY
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and flies are attracted by the plants' nectar. This plant supports Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) larvae which appear between April and October and have one to two flights in the north or three flights in the south. Adult Black Swallowtail butterflies feed on flower nectar from thistles, milkweed and red clover.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The oval fruits are displayed from July to August. They are a small fruit with 5 angular ribs that replace each flower. They have 2 sections, are slightly flattened and ridged. They eventually split into 2 seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers bloom from April to May. They grow as 2-3" clusters of 7-15 smaller clusters, each having 10-20 1/8" flowers. The flowers do not open fully.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Undivided basal leaves attach to the stem by way of 2-3" petioles. As you progress up the stem, the leaves are smaller and the petioles are shorter. The upper leaves may be compound. A spot of purple is often visible where the leaf of end leaflet meet the stalk.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems are hairless and rounded. Vertical light green lines are present.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds