Erigeron annuus

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Annual fleabane
DSCN5431 (5795366075).jpg
Flowers and buds
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Erigeron
Species: E. annuus
Binomial name
Erigeron annuus
(L.) Pers.
  • Erigeron annuum (L.) Pers.
  • Aster annuus L.
  • Stenactis annua (L.) Cass. ex Less.
  • Erigeron septentrionalis (Fernald & Wiegand) Holub

Erigeron annuus (annual fleabane, daisy fleabane,[3] or eastern daisy fleabane[4]) is a North American plant species in the daisy family.

Further information: Fleabane

Description and identification[edit]

Close-up of Erigeron annuus

Erigeron annuus is a herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, and green, sparsely hairy stems. Leaves are numerous and large relative to other species of Erigeron, with lower leaves, especially basal leaves, coarsely toothed or cleft, a characteristic readily distinguishing this species from most other Erigeron.[3][4] Upper leaves are sometimes, not always toothed, but may have a few coarse teeth towards the outer tips.[5][6]

The flower heads are white with yellow centers, with the white rays sometimes pale lavender, borne spring through fall depending on the individual plant.[7] Ray florets number 40-100.[3]


Erigeron annuus is native to North America, and is found in 43 of the contiguous 48 states. It is widespread in many of them, especially in the eastern part of its range, but occurs only in scattered locations in the West and Southernmost parts of its range.[8] It is introduced in many other places.[9][10][11]

Ecology and life cycle[edit]

It often grows as an annual but can sometimes grow as a biennial.

Erigeron annuus is a native pioneer species that often colonizes disturbed areas such as pastures, abandoned fields, vacant lots, roadsides, railways, and waste areas. In these habitats it competes, often successfully, with introduced invasive weeds.[5]

Habitat preferences[edit]

Erigeron annuus grows well in full through partial sun, on sites with ample moisture. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, including gravel and clay. In hot, dry weather, lower leaves often yellow and wither.[5]

Faunal associations[edit]

Flowers are pollinated by a variety of bees, including little carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, halictine bees, and masked bees, as well as flies, including syrphid flies, bee flies, tachinid flies, flesh flies, anthomyiid flies, and muscid flies. Wasps, small butterflies, and other insects also visit the flowers to a lesser degree, seeking nectar, as well as a few pollen-feeding beetles.[5]

Schinia lynx (Lynx Flower Moth) caterpillars feed on the flowers and seeds of Annual Fleabane and other fleabanes, and Lygus lineolaris (Tarnished Plant Bug) sucks the plant juices. Some mammals eat this plant's foliage, flowers, and stems, including sheep, groundhogs, and rabbits.[5]


  1. ^ Tropicos, Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers.
  2. ^ The Plant List, Erigeron annuus subsp. septentrionalis (Fernald & Wiegand) Wagenitz
  3. ^ a b c Ann Fowler Rhoads and Timothy A. Block, Ill. Ann Anisko, Plants of Pennsylvania, 2nd ed, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. pp. 923.
  4. ^ a b David M. BRandenburg, Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America, National Wildlife Federation, Sterling Publishing Co., New York, 2010, pp. 150.
  5. ^ a b c d e [1] Annual Fleabane, Erigeron annuus, Illinois Wildflowers, Retrieved Jun. 27, 2014.
  6. ^ Flora of North America, Erigeron annuus (Linnaeus) Persoon, Syn. Pl. 2: 431. 1807. Eastern daisy fleabane, vergerette annuelle
  7. ^ Annual Fleabane, USGS. 3 August 2006, accessed 29 April 2008
  8. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 state-level distribution map
  9. ^ Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. eastern daisy fleabane, United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile
  10. ^ Flora of China, Erigeron annuus (Linnaeus) Persoon, 1807. 一年蓬 yi nian peng
  11. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Cespica annua, Erigeron annuus (L.) Desf. includes photos and European distribution map