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|Erigeron glaucus, Seaside Daisy|
Erigeron (//; syn. Stenactis Cass.) is a genus of about 390 species of daisy-like flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, sometimes confused with other closely related genera, Aster and the true daisy Bellis. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution in dry, mountainous areas and grassland, with the highest diversity in North America, where 173 species occur.
The most widely used common name, fleabane, is shared with related plants in several other genera. It is derived from the belief that the dried plants repelled fleas, whilst the name Erigeron is derived from the Greek (eri = early; geron = old man), a reference to the appearance of the white hairs of the fruit soon after flowering.
The species may be annuals, biennials or perennials. They are well-branched with erect stems, characterized by their numerous white, lavender or pink ray flowers and yellow disc flowers. Some members of this group have no ray flowers. The pappus (= modified calyx, forming a crown) is shorter than in Aster, and consists of bristles. The ray florets are narrower than in Aster, but are clearly longer than the involucre (= whorled bracts).
Many species are used as ornamental plants, with numerous named cultivars such as 'Wayne Roderick', 'Charity', 'Foersters Liebling' and 'Dunkelste aller' ("The darkest of all" with semi-double, deep violet flower heads).
Erigeron species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix angustata, Coleophora squamosella (which feeds exclusively on E. acris), Schinia intermontana, Schinia obscurata (both of which also feed exclusively on Erigeron), Schinia sexata (which feeds exclusively on E. glabellus) and Schinia villosa.
- Sunset Western Garden Book (6th ed.). 1995. pp. 606–607. ISBN 978-0-376-03850-0.
- Nesom, Guy L (2006), "Erigeron", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+, Flora of North America 20, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 256
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- "RHS Plant Selector - Erigeron 'Dunkelste Aller'". Retrieved 17 July 2013.
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