Comprehensive Description

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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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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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