Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus) resembles Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus), but robust specimens of these two species are fairly easy to distinguish. Daisy Fleabane has fewer and more slender leaves than Annual Fleabane, and the hairs along its middle to upper stems are short and appressed, rather than long and spreading. Another species, Marsh Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus), differs by having slightly larger flowerheads with more ray florets (100-300), and wider leaves that clasp the stems. In addition, Marsh Fleabane has only spreading hairs along its stems. While the fleabanes (Erigeron spp.) are often dismissed as 'weeds' because of their ubiquitousness during the summer, they are actually rather attractive plants that are beneficial to many small insects that have important roles in the functioning of the ecological system. As pioneer species, fleabanes are also useful in providing early cover for exposed ground, thereby reducing soil erosion.
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Description

This annual or biennial plant is erect and 1-3' tall. It is unbranched along the lower half, while forming lateral stems above that are ascending. The central stem is light green to purplish green and longitudinally grooved along its sides. This stem often has spreading white hairs toward its base, while above these hairs become shorter and more appressed. The lateral stems are similar to the central stem above, except they are less grooved. Alternate leaves are up to 4" long and 16 mm. (2/3") across, becoming smaller in size and more sparse as they ascend the stems. The lowest leaves are oblanceolate in shape with long petioles, while the middle to upper leaves are elliptic to linear-elliptic in shape and they are either sessile or their petioles are short (less than ¼" in length). Some of the larger leaves have sparse coarse teeth along their outer margins. The upper leaf surface is medium green and hairless (or nearly so), while the lower leaf surface is light-medium green and short-pubescent along the central vein. The petioles, when they are present, are light green and more or less pubescent; the petioles of lower leaves are sometimes narrowly winged. The central stem and lateral stems terminate in cymes of flowerheads that collectively span up to 10" across for large plants. Individual cymes are dichotomously branched and somewhat flat-headed; as they mature, these cymes become more open and loose. Individual flowerheads span about ½" across and they have a daisy-like appearance. Each flowerhead has 40-100 ray florets that surround numerous disk florets. The petaloid rays of the former florets are usually white and linear in shape; sometimes these rays are pink- or purple-tinted. The corollas of the disk florets are yellow, narrowly tubular in shape, 5-lobed, and minute in size; they are densely bunched together. Surrounding the base of each flowerhead, there are linear phyllaries (floral bracts) in 1-2 series. These phyllaries are light green, short-pubescent, and about 3 mm. in length. The branches of cymes and the peduncles of flowerheads are similar in appearance to the lateral stems. The branches of cymes have solitary leafy bracts where they dichotomously divide. These leafy bracts are up to 1" long and linear-elliptic in shape. The peduncles of the flowerheads are up to 4" long. The blooming period occurs primarily from late spring to mid-summer, lasting about 1-2 months for a colony of plants. However, some plants may bloom later in the year. In warm sunny weather, the flowerheads may have a mild pleasant fragrance. Afterwards, the florets are replaced by small achenes that have small tufts of bristly hairs at their apices; they are distributed to some extent by the wind. The bodies of the achenes are about 1 mm. long, light brown, oblong-oblanceoloid in shape, slightly flattened, and short-hairy. The root system consists of a shallow branching taproot with secondary fibrous roots. This plant spreads by reseeding itself, occasionally forming loose colonies. Cultivation
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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Daisy Fleabane is fairly common and it has been reported from almost all counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include black soil prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, limestone glades, dry savannas, eroding clay banks, pastures and abandoned fields, areas along railroads, and roadsides. While Daisy Fleabane is a pioneer species that prefers areas with a history of disturbance, it is more likely to be found in higher quality natural areas than the closely related Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus). Faunal Associations
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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Annuals, biennials, or short-lived perennials, 30–70 cm; fibrous-rooted, caudices simple, sometimes lignescent, sometimes producing rhizomes that bear leaf tufts at upturned ends. Stems erect or ascending, sparsely to moderately strigose to strigillose or hirsuto-strigillose (hairs usually ascending, rarely spreading, 0.1–1.2 mm), eglandular. Leaves basal (usually persistent through flowering) and cauline; basal blades spatulate to broadly or narrowly oblanceolate to linear, (10–)30–150(–170) × 5–15(–21) mm, cauline usually gradually reduced distally, continuing to near heads, margins entire or shallowly to deeply serrate or crenate, faces glabrous or glabrate to sparsely strigose or strigoso-hirsute, eglandular. Heads 10–200+ in loosely corymbiform to paniculiform-corymbiform arrays (on distal branches). Involucres (2–)3–4 × 5–12 mm. Phyllaries in 2–4 series, glabrous, strigose, or sparsely hirsute, sometimes minutely glandular. Ray florets 50–100; corollas white, less commonly pinkish or bluish, 4–6 mm, laminae coiling. Disc corollas 1.5–2.5 mm (throats sometimes slightly indurate and inflated). Cypselae (0.5–)0.9–1.2 mm, 2-nerved, faces sparsely strigose; pappi: outer crowns of setae or scales, inner 0 (rays) or of 8–15 bristles (disc).
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Erigeron annuus (Linnaeus) Persoon subsp. strigosus (Muhlenberg ex Willdenow) Wagenitz
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Daisy Fleabane is fairly common and it has been reported from almost all counties of Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include black soil prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, limestone glades, dry savannas, eroding clay banks, pastures and abandoned fields, areas along railroads, and roadsides. While Daisy Fleabane is a pioneer species that prefers areas with a history of disturbance, it is more likely to be found in higher quality natural areas than the closely related Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus). Faunal Associations
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Daisy Fleabane in Illinois

Erigeron strigosus (Daisy Fleabane)
(Bees collect pollen or suck nectar; beetles feed on pollen & are non-pollinating; other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Mitchell, Moure & Hurd, Reed, Grundel & Pavlovic, Krombein et al., and Lisberg & Young as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata sn, Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Epeolus bifasciatus sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada articulata sn, Nomada denticulata sn, Nomada erigeronis sn; Anthophoridae (Pastitidini): Holcopasites illinoiensis sn fq; Megachilidae (Stelidini): Stelis lateralis sn fq, Stelis trypetinum sn fq; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti sn cp fq, Heriades variolosa variolosa sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella aurata sn cp, Halictus confusus sn cp fq, Halictus ligatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum albipennis sn cp fq (Rb, MH, Re), Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp, Lasioglossum paradmirandus (Re), Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp, Lasioglossum pruinosus sn cp, Lasioglossum tegularis sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn, Lasioglossum zephyrus sn; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes cressonii sn, Sphecodes stygius sn; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes eulophi sn, Colletes mandibularis (Mch, Kr); Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn, Hylaeus floridanus sn, Hylaeus mesillae sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena quintilis (Kr)

Wasps
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Oxybelus mexicanus; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris clypeata; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila pictipennis; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Leionotus ziziae, Stenodynerus ammonia, Stenodynerus anormis fq, Stenodynerus histrionalis; Chrysididae: Chrysis montana; Leucospididae: Leucospis affinis; Braconidae: Coeloides scolytivorus

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis dimidiatus, Eristalis stipator, Paragus bicolor, Paragus geminatus, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus geminatus (Rb, Re), Toxomerus marginatus fq (Rb, Re), Tropidia mamillata; Empidae: Empis clausa; Bombyliidae: Bombylius atriceps, Exoprosopa fascipennis, Ogcodocera leucoprocta, Toxophora amphitea; Conopidae: Zodion fulvifrons; Tachinidae: Cylindromyia euchenor, Cylindromyia propusilla, Epigrimyia polita, Gymnoclytia immaculata, Gymnoclytia occidua, Gymnosoma fuliginosum, Leucostoma simplex, Periscepsia laevigata, Phasia purpurascens fq, Siphona geniculata; Sarcophagidae: Amobia floridensis, Helicobia rapax, Ravinia anxia, Senotainia rubriventris fq, Sphixapata trilineata; Muscidae: Limnophora narona, Neomyia cornicina; Anthomyiidae: Calythea nigricans, Delia platura; Milichiidae: Pholeomyia indecora; Tephritidae: Orellia ruficauda (Re)

Butterflies
Lycaenidae: Lycaeides melissa samuelis (GP), Lycaena hyllus

Beetles
Melyridae: Collops quadrimaculatus fp np; Mordellidae: Mordella marginata (LY), Mordellaria serval (LY), Mordellistena cervicalis (LY), Mordellistena comata fp np

Plant Bugs
Miridae: Lygus lineolaris

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Erigeron strigosus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Erigeron strigosus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 14
Specimens with Barcodes: 28
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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Wikipedia

Erigeron strigosus

Erigeron strigosus is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common name plains fleabane.

It is native to eastern North America, and it is present in western North America as a somewhat weedy naturalized species. This is an annual or biennial daisy reaching heights of anywhere from 30 to 80 centimeters. It has hairy, petioled, oval-shaped leaves a few centimeters long mostly on the lower part of the plant. The spindly, branching stem has inflorescences of several flower heads each. The tiny head is less than a centimeter wide and has white ray florets surrounding a golden center.

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