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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This is a pretty, but ubiquitous plant that will appear on its own without any official encouragement. It can be distinguished from asters with similar flowers by its earlier blooming season and more numerous ray florets. Annual Fleabane differs from Erigeron strigosus (Daisy Fleabane) by its more numerous and broader leaves, and the long spreading white hairs that occur along the entire length of its stems. Daisy Fleabane, on the other hand, has more slender leaves and short appressed hairs that occur along the middle and upper portions of the stems. A similar species, Erigeron philadelphicus (Marsh Fleabane), has leaves that clasp the stems and its flowerheads have more ray and disk florets than Annual Fleabane. Return
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This is a native annual or biennial plant that is up to 3½' tall, branching occasionally in the upper half to form flowering stems. The central stem has spreading white hairs throughout its length. The leaves toward the base are 3-5" long with sizable petioles, and they are lanceolate, ovate, or oblanceolate in shape. The leaves along the upper stems are smaller in size, without petioles, and usually lanceolate. These alternate leaves are rather common along the stems, even toward the top of the plant. The lower leaves are often coarsely serrated or dentate, while the upper leaves may have a few coarse teeth toward their outer tips. Small clusters of daisy-like composite flowers occur toward the apex of the plant, each about ½–¾" across. The central disk florets are numerous, very small, and yellow; they are surrounded by 50-120 white ray florets. Both kinds of florets can be self-fertile. The flower buds often have conspicuous white hairs. The blooming period begins in early summer and continues intermittently until the fall, usually with a lull during the hot weather of late summer. A mild fragrance is sometimes detectable. The root system is fibrous and spreading. The achenes have tufts of small hairs (which they sometimes lose); they are distributed by the wind.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

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, (10–)60–150 cm; fibrous-rooted or taprooted. Stems erect, sparsely piloso-hispid (hairs spreading), sometimes strigose distally, eglandular. Leaves basal (usually withering by flowering) and cauline; basal blades mostly lanceolate to oblanceolate or ovate, 15–80 × 3–20 mm, margins coarsely serrate to nearly entire, faces sparsely strigoso-hirsute, eglandular; cauline lanceolate to oblong, little reduced proximal to midstem. Heads ca. 5–50+ in loosely paniculiform or corymbiform arrays. Involucres 3–5 × 6–12 mm. Phyllaries in 2–3(–4) series, sparsely villous or hirsuto-villous, minutely glandular. Ray florets 80–125; corollas white, 4–10 mm, laminae tardily coiling. Disc corollas 2–2.8 mm. Cypselae 0.8–1 mm, 2-nerved, faces sparsely strigose; pappi: outer minute crowns of setae or narrow scales, inner 0 (rays) or of 8–11 bristles (disc). 2n = 27.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Aster annuus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 875. 1753; Erigeron annuus var. discoideus (Victorin & J. Rousseau) Cronquist
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Ecology

Associations

Faunal Associations

Various long-tongued and short-tongued bees visit the flowers, including Little Carpenter bees, Cuckoo bees, Halictine bees, and Masked bees. They collect pollen or suck nectar. Flies are common visitors, including Syrphid flies, bee flies, Tachinid flies, flesh flies, Anthomyiid flies, and Muscid flies. To a lesser extent, wasps, small butterflies, and other insects visit the flowers – all of these insects seek nectar primarily, except for a few pollen-feeding beetles. The caterpillars of Schinia lynx (Lynx Flower Moth) feed on the flowers and seed capsules of Annual Fleabane and other fleabanes, while Lygus lineolaris (Tarnished Plant Bug) sucks plant juices. Some mammalian herbivores have been observed eating the foliage, flowers, and stems, including sheep, groundhogs, and rabbits. Photographic Location
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Flower-Visiting Insects of Annual Fleabane in Illinois

Erigeron annuus (Annual Fleabane)
(Short-tongued bees collect pollen or suck nectar; long-tongued bees suck nectar, with exceptions noted below; flies and beetles feed on pollen or suck nectar; other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Graenicher, although two observations are from Robertson, as noted below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Psithyrus citrinus sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada articulata sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis pilosifrons sn cp, Osmia distincta sn; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti sn (Rb)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn cp, Augochlorella striata sn cp, Halictus rubicunda sn, Halictus spp. (Lasioglossum spp.) sn, Lasioglossum albipennis sn cp, Lasioglossum connexus sn, Lasioglossum coriaceus sn, Lasioglossum cressonii sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn, Lasioglossum tegularis sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp, Lasioglossum zephyrus sn; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes davisii sn; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn, Hylaeus mesillae sn cp, Hylaeus modestus modestus sn cp; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena robertsonii sn; Melittidae: Macropis nuda sn

Wasps
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Ectemnius dives, Lestica producticollis, Oxybelus uniglumis; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus foraminatus, Parancistrocerus pensylvanicus

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis transversus, Eupeodes americanus, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Conopidae: Thecophora abbreviata; Stratiomyidae: Nemotelus nigrinus, Odontomyia virgo; Chloropidae: Meromyza americana; Anthomyiidae: Delia platura; Calliphoridae: Lucilia illustris, Lucilia sericata; Sarcophagidae: Helicobia rapax, Sarcophaga sp., Sphixapata trilineata; Tachinidae: Copecrypta ruficauda, Cylindromyia dosiades, Epigrimyia polita, Gymnoclytia immaculata, Gymnosoma fuliginosum, Periscepsia laevigata sn (Rb), Phasia aeneoventris, Phyllomya cremides, Strongygaster triangulifera; Tephritidae: Euaresta bella; Agromyzidae: Melanagromyza aeneoventris

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Poanes hobomok

Beetles
Curculionidae: Rhynchaenus pallicornis; Mordellidae: Hoshihananomia octopunctata, Mordellistena comata; Scarabaeidae (Cetonniae): Trichiotinus piger

Plant Bugs
Lygaeidae: Lygaeus turcicus; Miridae: Leptoterna dolobrata, Lygus lineolaris, Plagiognathus politus, Poecilocapsus lineatus; Pentatomidae: Euschistus variolaria; Thyreocoridae: Corimelaena pulicarius

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Erigeron annuus

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 annuus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 22
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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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun, and moist to mesic conditions. This plant isn't fussy about soil characteristics, and tolerates clay or gravel to a greater extent than many others. It's easy to grow, but can spread aggressively by re-seeding itself in disturbed areas. Sometimes the lower leaves will turn yellow and wither away during hot dry weather. The size of Annual Fleabane can vary considerably depending upon soil fertility, moisture amounts, and competition from neighboring plants. Range & Habitat
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Wikipedia

Erigeron annuus

Erigeron annuus (annual fleabane, daisy fleabane,[1] or eastern daisy fleabane[2]) is a plant in the daisy family, Asteraceae.

Further information: Fleabane

Description and identification[edit]

Erigeron annuus is a herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, and green, sparsely haired stems. Leaves are numerous and large relative to other Erigeron sp., with lower leaves, especially basal leaves, coarsely toothed or cleft, a characteristic readily distinguishing this species from most other Erigeron.[1][2] Upper leaves are sometimes, not always toothed, but may have a few coarse teeth towards the outer tips.[3]

The flowers are white with yellow centers, with the white rays sometimes tending to a pale lavender, born spring through fall.[4] Ray florets number 40-100.[1]

Range[edit]

E. annuus is native to North America, and is found in 43 of the lower 48 states. It is widespread in many of them, especially in the eastern part of its range, but only occurs in scattered locations in the West and Southernmost parts of its range. It is introduced in Saint Pierre and Miquelon.[5]

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.[3]

Habitat preferences[edit]

E. annuus grows well in full to 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.[3]

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.[3]

Schinia lynx (Lynx Flower Moth) caterpillars feed on the flowers and seed capsules of Annual Fleabane and other fleabanes, and Lygus lineolaris (Tarnished Plant Bug) sucks the plant juices. Some mammals eat the foliage, flowers, and stems, including sheep, groundhogs, and rabbits.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b David M. BRandenburg, Field Guide to Wildflowers of North America, National Wildlife Federation, Sterling Publishing Co., New York, 2010, pp. 150.
  3. ^ a b c d e [1] Annual Fleabane Erigeron annuus, Illinois Wildflowers, Retrieved Jun. 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Annual Fleabane, USGS. 3 August 2006, accessed 29 April 2008
  5. ^ Erigeron annuus (L.) Pers. eastern daisy fleabane, USDA Plants Profile
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Notes

Comments

Erigeron annuus is apparently native to eastern North America (United States and southern Canada) and is introduced elsewhere; it probably occurs in North Dakota and Alberta; apparently it has not been documented there. Apparent intermediates between E. annuus and E. strigosus are encountered.
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