Common Golden Alexander
Zizia aurea (L) Koch
Apiaceae [=Umbellierae] (Parsley) Family

Alexanders is an upright perennial herb with a basal rosette of leaves and later an erect stem up to three feet tall. Its preferred habitat is pariries, pine lands, and moist woods. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are mostly basal, about 5 inches long, oval to ovate in outline, two-pinnate, with pinnules (segments) sharply toothed and smooth. The base of the leaf stalk sheaths the stem. The upper stem leaves are reduced.

The flowers or in clusters or in compound umbels. Each flower is bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form, small, less than 1/8th inch long. The middle flower of each umbel is stalkless. Flowers occur in the spring.

The fruit is flat, dry, and less than 1/4 inch long.

Other yellow-flowering members of the Parsley family include Heart-Leaved Meadow Parsnip, with simple heart-shaped basal leaves, and Yellow Pimpernell, with compound leaves and untoothed leaflets. A common southern Meadow Parsnip of a different genus, sometimes called Golden Alexanders as well, has only three lance-like, toothed leaflets.

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