Monday, February 29, 2016

Golden Alexanders

I went to a talk on gardening for butterflies Sunday afternoon.  I wish I would have thought to suggest Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea as a host plant for black swallowtails during the question and comment time.  I decided to do a blog post, since I've been neglecting my blog, and post a link to it on Facebook, where I've been spending my former blogging time.

The photos did not load in order.  This is from early spring, so it's probably the May 19 one.  I can see the blue amsonia of some kind in the background.  I enjoy these early bloomers.

I included a couple with insects on them.  I am not sure what this little critter is, but I see from my notes, it is from June 6.

I always like it when blooms benefit more than one kind of critter.

The next couple must be the end of May. 

I planted the ones near the bicycle a few years later than the ones across the sidewalk.  They tend to bloom a little later than the more mature ones.

This must be June 7.  These are self sowers, but are easy to hoe, pull, or dig up to share.  Can you tell they are in the carrot family?

I ended up cutting back some of the plants last year, because they developed a disease or something, with spots on the leaves.  There were plenty of other plants around to fill any gaps.  Thankfully, the plants regrew clean leaves.  Plus, the black swallowtail caterpillars had nice fresh leaves to eat.

I am pleased to see signs of spring.  I tripped over our granddaughter in the grocery store a few weeks ago, and sprained my wrist.  It is not fully healed, and it hurts to grip things, so I will need to do my garden clean up small amounts at a time.  I hope all is well with you!,


  1. I hope your wrist won't delay your gardening too long.

  2. Sue, it's always good to see a post from my not so far away friend. The end of February weather has indeed been great, don't you think? I've been out doing structure things in the garden but not really scratching in the soil just yet. I may be a couple weeks before that or not. I noticed that the weeds are beginning to sprout even when the temperatures are in the 30s at night. I have very tough weeds in my garden but soon, it will be looking good. I hope. :-)

    Have a great day watching the different areas of your yard come to life.

  3. I've loved this plant ever since I saw a swath of them growing in a naturalized area at the Chicago Botanic Garden some years ago. So far, I haven't had much success getting them to grow here, but maybe this will be my lucky year. Hope your wrist heals quickly, Sue!

  4. Hi Sue, Anything that benefits native creatures is great. The Golden Alexander is beautiful. It looks pretty big. I need to check my NE wildflower book to see if it's a local plant here. Sorry about your accident.....Hopefully, it will heal quickly. Good to hear from you! Happy Gardening!

  5. It's good to see you and your Golden Alexanders again! We've had such a mild winter that I've already completed my winter cleanup, and had a couple of blooms show up!

  6. Such a cheery plant! I think it requires a little more sun than I have here, but I love to find it when I go hiking in prairies and Oak savannas. I hope your wrist will heal soon, Sue. It must be so frustrating not to be able to grip tools.

  7. I hope your wrist heals soon--can't miss the start of the gardening season!!
    What an interesting plant-I've never heard of it. I'm going to do additional research into that one-anything that brings in the critters is welcome.
    Happy Spring, Sue

  8. They are really pretty. I've tried to get some established in my wildflower area and I've not had a lot of luck.

  9. Oh these are beautiful! I wonder if they'll grow in my area... I guess I'll just have to try and see!

    1. Hi Alexis, I clicked on your name, and got to pinterest. I don't have an account, so I can't comment there. What part of the country do you live in? I hope you can get some golden alexanders to grow.

  10. Those are pretty and for the butterflies! I will look to see if I can add it to my garden. Take care!

  11. Hi Sue! This is a great post! Do you think it seems to be feeling like Spring already? I must get out to pick up sticks, rake, etc... but it's still a little wet, here. How about your conditions?

  12. I Loved Your Plants,good to here from you,it will be looking Good,thanks for sharing..


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