Last Updated on June 20, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Fleabane Erigeron Annuus belongs to the Aster family, and is an easy to care for perennial wildflower that is a great addition to just about any garden.
This somewhat invasive plant is a native species across North America, and is both edible and medicinal.
You’ve probably already seen rows of these little disk flowers along the roadsides of your neighborhood and on neglected waste areas—they are those beautiful branches of white flower heads with yellow centers.
What Does Eastern Daisy Fleabane Look Like?
Erigeron Annuus, also known as Eastern Daisy Fleabane, is easily identified by its hairy stem and stem leaves, coupled with white and bright yellow composite flowers that typically appear in mid to late spring.
The petals of these flowers range in color from white through to yellow as well as myriad shades of pink. The actual flowers are quite small, roughly half an inch in diameter, and look similar to daisy, hence the reason for the name—daisy fleabane.
Even though yellow/white is the most common color of fleabane wildflowers, horticulturists have developed a wide range of exciting colors including rose, pink (as previously mentioned) and red.
Fleabane wild flowers produce two different types of fleabane leaves— lanceolate to ovate, and basal leaves that grow the lowest on their stem or flower, and are covered with hairs.
Fleabanes can grow anywhere between 30 and 150 centimeters in height, and even though they grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 2 through 9, you can cultivate them in your garden.
The flower heads measure roughly half an inch across, with 40 to 100 ray florets, and may have a mild fragrance during the summer.
The root system of fleabane daisies consists of a shallow branching taproot, and secondary fibrous roots. Fleabane daisies bloom from late spring to late summer, and last for one to two months before producing seed heads.
Erigeron Annuus Habitat
Erigeron Annuus thrives in moist sections of drainage areas, and even though it may come across as delicate, it can tolerate dryer environments too.
Adding to this, they prefer alkaline soil that contains clay or gravel, but can adapt easily to soils rich in fertile loam.
It is seen in almost all counties of Illinois, and in several types of habitats including gravel prairies, soil prairies, dry savannas, limestone glades, pastures and abandoned fields.
How to Grow Daisy Fleabane?
Growing Erigeron Annuus offers many benefits for your yard from filling edging paths, and bare spots between shrubs and trees with pretty rosette flowers, to providing alternative medicine ingredients.
Pers. Eastern Daisy Fleabane, as it is also known, when planted in optimal growing conditions may self-seed, producing a new crop of plants each year.
You can grow daisy fleabane from the seeds of wild plants.
Once germinated, plant the seedlings in a site that receives a good amount of shade when the sun is the most intense, generally between 10 am and 4 pm and before you know it you will have annual fleabane
To get started, dig deep enough holes to accommodate the roots of daisy fleabane in the ground. Set the plants in the holes in such a way that the base of the stem is level with the surrounding soil.
Fill the remainder of the holes with topsoil, and pack them gently to get rid of any air pockets, and to give the plants upright support.
If the plants are flopping over due to lack of support for the length of the stems, you can add a few stakes to the ground, and tie each plant to them with soft twines.
Just like you would with your other plants, water the plant as needed, but do not get them soaking wet—just enough to keep the soil moist.
When grown properly, all species bear daisy-like flowers of many colors starting from early spring.
How do I Use Daisy Fleabane Erigeron?
Although all parts of this pretty weed can be used for medicinal purposes, only the leaf part is actually edible.
They can be eaten raw or cooked like any green vegetable, however, the hairs of the leaves do make them a little unpalatable when they are eaten raw.
For Complementary Medicines
Medicinally, daisy fleabane leaf extracts are said to help with diabetes related to obesity and the caffeic acid contained in them apparently also has antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.
The roots are renowned for use as an anti-inflammatory.
The center of the rosettes are apparently good for helping with a build up of mucus.
In addition, when dried, they have been used for years as a traditional method of getting rid of fleas in the home.
One can also convert parts of these useful weeds into essential oils that are said to help with skin conditions, urinary tract infections and diarrhea.
Fleabane daisy is a truly versatile wildflower in that it has both edible and medicinal traits. It is an easy to care for wildflower, and is noted for its hairy stems and leaves.
Although fleabane daisy may not be as attractive as other plants from the Aster family such as sunflowers, they are a great addition to any small or big garden.
Fleabane daisy thrives in rocky and clay soil conditions, and best of all does not compete with other larger-leafed plants in your yard.