Erigeron philadelphicus L.
Common fleabane is native to North America.
Identification: Plants are up to 3' (1 m) high, with ribbed stems covered with soft white hairs. The hairs grow outward from the stem, rather than lying against it as with some species. A basal rosette of leaves consists of a spatula-shaped leaves up to 4" (10 cm) × 1" (3 cm). The leaves have coarse serrations and may be rounded or pointed at the tip. They may be lance-shaped, but show a wide range of shapes. Leaves higher on the stem usually clasp the stem. Flowers are pale pink, sometimes white, up to ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) around, with 100-300 petals (more than any other fleabane) and a yellow central disk. The petals are so fine that they often look a bit disheveled, like windblown hair. They flower from April to June. The achenes (seeds) have tiny parachutes, like those of dandelions.
Here are some similar fleabanes:
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|Plant||Up to 24" (60 cm) in height. Stems have dense stiff white hairs. Plants are found at elevations between 4000-6500' (1.2-2.0 km).|
|Flowers||Flowers may be white, but they are usually violet in color.|
|Leaves||Leaves alternate, attached to stem but not wrapped around it. Upper leaves narrow and pointed at the ends, with coarse teeth or sometimes no teeth. Lower leaves are more egg-shaped.||Leaves are very narrow.||Basal leaves are spatula-shaped, up to 4" (10 cm) × 1" (3 cm), with coarse teeth. Upper leaves may be lance-shaped, but show a wide range of shapes. They usually clasp the stem.|
USDA Zones: 3a-8a
USDA Zones: 2-7
|Habitats||Moist or semi-moist disturbed areas, pastures, abandoned fields, roadsides||Moist soils at the edges of fresh bodies of water, waste areas, fields, roadsides|
These plants have an erect stem that has many fine white hairs, and are 12-36" (30-91 cm) tall. The hairs are antrorse strigose—they lie down against the stem, in the upward direction.
White, about ½" (1.5 cm) in diameter, with 50-100 petals, and a yellow central disk. They flower from May to September.
Edibility: Not edible. May cause a contact dermatitis in some individuals.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
The USDA Plants Database
Peterson, Roger Tory, McKenny, Margaret, Peterson Field Guides: Wildflowers—Northeastern and North Central North America, Houghton Mifflin, 1968, p. 308
Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 382
Erigeron philadelphicus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.
Range: Zones 2-7: