Name: Zizia aurea aka golden Alexander
Type of Plant: A native perennial (hardy in Zone 3 to 8) that has yellow flowers in late May into early June.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: Okay…I admit it. I first bought this plant 20 years ago so I could say that my garden had flowers “from A to Z.” But since that time I’ve grown to love this for several reasons. It’s a butterfly support plant – a host for the swallowtail butterfly. The lacy, yellow flowers are lovely in bouquets with other early summer bloomers. And it grows well in sun or part-shade.
A Word to the Wise: This is a self-seeder, so if you like your gardens neat, tidy and “under control” this is not the plant for you. But if you have gardens that are a bit naturalistic, where the plants are allowed to co-mingle and grow in communities as they do in the wild, this will suit you just fine.
Note that the foliage tends to die back in the summer…not a problem if it’s growing in with other plants as you can just cut the Zizia stems and leaves down.
This is a great plant for rain gardens and wildflower plantings.