Random Plant: Philadelphia fleabane

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus, Asteraceae) photographed 06/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus, Asteraceae) is a common native weed throughout most of North America.  Also called common fleabane, this aster features yellow disc florets and up to 250 thin ray florets that vary in color from white to pink (Brandenburg 2010).

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus, Asteraceae) photographed 06/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

The aster family is extremely diverse, and the genus Erigeron (fleabanes) contains 191 North American species.  Identification of asters to the species level often seems daunting, but it’s not impossible.  Of this genus there are only a handful that occur in the Great Lakes region.  Of these, only Philadelphia fleabane has the aforementioned flower structure and leaves that wrap around the stems.

Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus, Asteraceae) photographed 06/07/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

The flower heads seemed particularly attractive to insects.  You can see a bee (superfamily Apoidea) in the first photo above, and I recently talked about a flower fly that was visiting this plant.

Literature cited:

Brandenburg, D.M.  2010.  National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America.  Andrew Stewart Publishing, Inc., New York, NY.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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