Zizia aptera flourishes in sun or part sun with moist or dry soil. Plants tolerate clay loam, rocky or gravelly soil, alkaline pH and controlled burns.
This species is easy to grow but is considered to be a short lived perennial that persists by re-seeding.
Many species of small short tongued bees, pollinating flies, butterflies, beetles and plant bugs seek nectar and pollen from the flowers. Black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars feed on the foliage.
Zizia aptera differs from the closely related Z. aurea because it has simple basal leaves and a preference for drier sites. Z. aurea has compound basal leaves and a preference for wetter sites.