Fleabane (Erigeron canadensis L.)

(Conyza (formerly Erigeron) canadensis L.)
Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AYsee-ee) – In the aster or daisy
family but was in the
Compositae family. Alternative
Pronunciation: ass-ter-AY-seeay
Genus: Conyza (kon-NY-zuh) –
Is from the Greek “konops”
(flea), used by Pliny as a name
for a fleabane.
Species: canadensis (ka-na-DENsis) – Means from or of
Also known as dwarf horseweed and hogweed.
The leaves are alternate, oblong to lanceshaped, 2 to 10 cm long. The lower leaves
have a short stalk while the upper leaves
have no stalk. The leaves may cause skin
irritations for some people and animals.
The flowers appear as numerous flower heads,
3 to 5 mm across with white to yellow short
ray florets with a yellow centre. A single seed
is produced by each flower floret.
Common Fleabane
(Erigeron philadelphicus)
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Erigeron (er-IJ-er-on) – Is from the Greek
eri- (early) or ēr (spring) and geron (old man) or
genia (born), referring to the flowers occuring in
spring turning gray like hair.
Species: philadepphicus (phil a del fic–ia)
named after city of Philadelphicia but may derive
from Greek philadĕlphŏs, which is a Greek and
Roman family name meaning loving one’s sister
or brother.
Also called
Philadelphia Fleabane
Common Fleabane
Fleabane is a native biennial or short-lived
perennial in the aster family. The flowers close at
night. Fleabane looks like a daisy.
Other common names are Philadelphia daisy and
Philadelphia fleabane.
In Altona Forest it is found in open fields around
the parking lot and regeneration area in the north
as well as along Altona Road in the ditch.
Common Fleabane
The base of the leaves clasp the stem
which is a distinguishing characteristic
from other fleabanes. They have hairy,
alternate leaves that can be oval or lanceshaped with a pointed tip.
The lowest leaves grow in a basal rosette
and are coarse serrate, spatulate, about 10
cm long and 3 cm wide. They are rounded
to acute at the apex.
Leaves further up are alternate, hairy,
oblong-lanceolate, clasp the stem, are
scattered, mostly untoothed to serrate.
They are 3 to 9 cm long, no stalk,
tapering into a winged stalk.
Common Fleabane
The stems grow to 75 cm, fistulose,
covered with long, fine, soft hairs,
ribbed, erect, herbaceous, single or
multiple from the base, branching
near the top.
Common Fleabane
The flowers grow in clusters, with several clusters
per plant. The flowerheads are 1.5 to 3 cm across,
pink, pale pink to pale magenta or white rays
around a yellow disk. Flowers appear from April
to July.
The ray flowers are over 100 per flower, fertile
and pistillate. The disk flowers are about 1 cm
broad. The disk corollas are 5-lobed and yellow at
the apex with some white at the base.
Common Fleabane
Many years ago a medicinal tea was made from common fleabane. It was used as
a diuretic and astringent and to treat kidney stones, diarrhea, and diabetes.
When fleabane is burned an oily smoke is created. This smoke repels insects like
fleas. The leaves contain tannins which can be used to protect cuts from infection
and promote skin healing. A tincture made form it can be used to soothe sore
Caution should be taken as some people have a reaction to handling the plant.
Common Fleabane
White-tailed deer like to eat fleabane.
Daisy Fleabane
(Erigeron annuus(L.) Pers)
Genus: Erigeron (er-IJ-er-on)
Species: annuus (AN-yoo-us)
The daisy fleabane is in
the aster family. It is a
native annual or
sometimes biennial
reaching 30 to 60 cm
high with prominent
white and yellow
Another common
name is annual
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Erigeron (er-IJ-er-on) –
Is from the Greek eri- (early) or
ēr (spring) and geron (old man)
or genia (born), referring to the
flowers occuring in spring
turning gray like hair.
Species: annuus (an u us)
meaning annual.
In Altona Forest, it is found in the
open fields or regeneration area to
the north.
Daisy Fleabane
This plant is hairy and
very leafy.
The leaves are alternate, simple
and some have winged petioles.
Basal leaves are egg-shaped
(ovate) or widest near the middle
and tapering to both ends.
Lowest leaves have petioles and
are up to 10cm long. Upper
leaves are sessile, non-clasping,
linear to lanceolate, with ciliate
margins, and up to 9cm long. All
leaves are prominently toothed
and pubescent above and below.
The leaves have a lot of variation
in the number of teeth on the
margins and the overall shape.
The stems are solid, erect,
branched with many soft hairs
and up to 1.5m tall.
Daisy Fleabane
The aster-like flower have 40 to 70 rays.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by moths,
butterflies and bees. The flower head is made up of outer ray flowers and an inner core of disc
flowers. The ray flowers are pistillate, white to pinkish or light purple, linear, threadlike, about 1
cm long and glabrous. The disk flowers are about 1 cm broad. The corollas are yellow and about 23 mm long. It has no sepals.
Daisy Fleabane
The flowers, which bloom from June to October, are
arranged in clusters forming a flat-topped inflorescence,
with the outer flowers opening first (corymb).
The fruit are pale brown achenes which are shiny, very
small and with a tuft of white bristles.
The white-tailed deer of Altona Forest eat this plant.
This fleabane is distinguished by its
non-clasping ovate-lanceolate basal
leaves and linear-lanceolate upper
leaves, some of which are coarsely
toothed; the spreading hairs on the
solid stem; and its flowerhead less
than 3 cm wide with numerous
white rays around a yellow center.
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