Erigeron divergens

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Erigeron divergens
Erigerondivergens.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Erigeron
Species: E. divergens
Binomial name
Erigeron divergens
Torr. & A.Gray
Synonyms[2]
  • Erigeron accedens Greene
  • Erigeron divaricatus Nutt. 1840, illegitimate homonym not Michx. 1803
  • Erigeron divaricatum Nutt.[1]
  • Erigeron incomptus A.Gray
  • Erigeron ramosus Raf.
  • Erigeron solisaltator G.L.Nesom

Erigeron divergens is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common name spreading fleabane. It is native to western North America, including the western half of the United States, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, and Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo León,[3] and Sonora in Mexico.[4][5]

This plant is highly variable in form. It is an annual or perennial herb growing from a taproot and sometimes a caudex. It produces one to many stems 7 to 70 centimeters tall. It is a hairy plant, and the hairs are usually glandular, at least near the top of the stem. The basal leaves are 1 to 7 centimeters long, and leaves higher on the stem are smaller. The inflorescence can hold over 100 flower heads. The heads have 75 to 150 ray florets not more than a centimeter long which are white in color, fading purple. There are many yellow disc florets at the center. The fruit is about one millimeter long.[6]

This plant occurs in many types of habitat, including desert shrublands and scrubs, grassland, meadows, pinyon-juniper woodland, oak and pine woodlands, riparian habitat, sagebrush, and disturbed areas.[6]

The species exhibits agamospermy, asexual reproduction via seeds. Many, but not all, individuals are polyploid.[6]

This plant had a number of uses in Native American traditional medicine. The Navajo people used it as an aid in childbirth, as a lotion, an eyewash, and a treatment for snakebite and headache. It was a good luck charm among the Kiowa people.[7]

Erigeron divergens, Arches National Park

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