South Dakota Native Plant Research
Apiaceae : Zizia aptera

Apiaceae : Zizia aptera


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Family Name


Common Name

Heartleaf Alexanders


Zizia aptera is a perennial herb, erect with simple or branching stems which grow from a fleshy root and attain 30 to 70 cm in height. The basal leaves are chordate, simple 4-7 cm long and 3-5 cm wide, with petioles 5-10 cm long, with toothed margins. The cauline leaves are alternate, ternately divided, the divisions with margins having small teeth and often lobed. The inflorescences are loose compound umbels 5-7 cm across, attached to a long peduncle (6-10 cm) each with 7 to 15 umbellets attached by unequal pedicels (1-3 cm long) to terminal umbels of 12-18 flowers. Each tiny (< 3 mm) flower has 5 petals that remain nearly closed. The fruit is an oblong schizocarp ~ 3 mm long. Heartleaf Alexanders bloom from late April to July on moist meadows, prairies and open wooded hillsides.

Additional Notes

Bees, butterflies, and beetles seek nectar and pollen from the flowers. Black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars feed on the foliage.

Horticulture Notes


Seed Collection: Collect seeds when the fruit splits into 2 parts.

Germination: Plant in the fall for best results.

Soils: Moist, sandy or sandy-clay soils.

Light: Full Sun to shade.

Water: Moist

Apiaceae : Zizia aptera