Delaware Wildflowers • Guides

Erigeron — the Fleabanes
Four species in Delaware, all common native plants, and all but one found in both Piedmont and coastal plain.  They are similar to the asters, but bloom earlier, starting in April or May.

Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus, Robin's Fleabane (Robin's Plantain)
Flowers: Heads 1" or more wide, 1-7 per stem, ~50(-100) rays.  Leaves: Upper stem leaves small, with rounded bases, somewhat clasping.  Stems: Under 18" tall, densely hairy, spreading by runners.  Where: Moist woods, Piedmont only.

Erigeron philadelphicus, Philadelphia Fleabane (Common Fleabane)
Flowers: Heads under 1" wide, often more than 7 per stem, 100-150+ rays, often pink.  Leaves: Upper leaves have rounded bases, usually clasping the stem.  Stems: Up to 3' tall, usually hairy.  Where: Moist soils.

Erigeron annuus, White-top Fleabane
Flowers: Heads about 1/2" wide, 40-100+ rays.  Leaves: The numerous, toothed, upper leaves have a tapered base that does not clasp the stem.  Stems: Up to 5' tall, with long spreading hairs.  Where: Fields and roadsides.

Erigeron strigosus var. strigosus, Daisy Fleabane
Flowers: 50-100 rays.  Leaves: The few, narrow, untoothed, upper leaves have a tapered base that does not clasp the stem.  Stems: Up to 3' tall, with hairs that lie close to the stem.  Where: Fields, roadsides, dry soils.

The accepted name for Erigeron canadensis, horseweed, is now Conyza canadensis.

Sources: The Flora of Delaware, Herbaceous Plants of Maryland.

Copyright David G. Smith

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