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ERIGERON annuus

Image of Erigeron annuus

Jesse Saylor

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ERIGERON annuus

Plant Common Name

Annual Fleabane

General Description

A common weedy wildflower across much of the United States, annual fleabane derives its common name from the old belief that its dried daisy flowers repelled fleas. This tall, leggy annual is native across much of North America save the coldest Canadian provinces and Alaska. It is a common pioneer species found in open, disturbed sites as well as old fields, meadows and roadsides.

In spring, this clump-forming annual develops very tall, upright, leafy stems lined with short, lance-shaped, green leaves. By early summer, clusters of small white daisies appear at the branch tips. These have fine, white ray petals and yellow to yellow-green or even pinkish centers. These are pollinated by all manner of insects, including butterflies. The seedheads produce loads of tiny seeds that fall to the ground to germinate the following season.

Annual fleabane is not a wildflower for the garden because it’s simply not that showy and is truly weedy once established. Either way, it grows well in full to partial sun and most any moderately fertile soil with decent drainage. Garden specimens appear by accident and should be readily weeded out.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-5' / 0.6m - 1.5m

  • Width

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Northwestern United States, California

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Yellow Green, Light Pink

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes