Erigeron speciosus

Erigeron speciousus is a showy drought tolerant member of the Aster family.  Known commonly as showy, or aspen, fleabane daisy, this versatile and carefree plant is an excellent choice for any garden.  Native from British Columbia down through Northwest Oregon and throughout the inter-mountain west south to New Mexico and Arizona, showy fleabane grows in open woods, thickets, and forest clearings in full sun to partial shade.  It can tolerate coastal salty conditions provided drainage and can withstand an astonishing 40F below zero.  In Latin, speciousus means “pretty” and this specimen lives up to its name.  The attractive flowers appear as yellow-orange discs surrounded by a whorl of many narrow pink to lavender rays.  Each 1/2 to 2 1/2 foot shoot produces up to a dozen flower heads which attract butterflies and persist through the summer.  Erigeron speciousus is quite easily grown and is an excellent choice for perennial borders or for a sunny spot anywhere in the garden.  The genus name Erigeron is derived from the Greek eri-early and geron-old man, referring to the appearance of white hairs on the fruit soon after flowering.  Deriving its common name from the belief that the dried plants repelled fleas,  showy fleabane has many ethnobotanical uses. Recent studies suggest that the above ground portions of the plant can be steam distilled and the extract can be used as an organic anti-fungal application against certain plant pathogens.

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