Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Philadelphia Fleabane can be distinguished from other fleabanes (Erigeron spp.) by its clasping leaves and the greater number of ray florets on its flowerheads. Compared to Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) and Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus), this plant prefers moister locations. In areas with mild winters, Philadelphia Fleabane may live longer than 2 years, although it is still short-lived. There is some variation in the characteristics of this plant across its range. These varieties are differentiated by the persistence of their basal leaves and the hairiness of their foliage. In Illinois, only the typical variety occurs. Another common of Erigeron philadelphicus is Marsh Fleabane. Return
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Description

This herbaceous plant is a biennial or short-lived perennial. It is ¾–2½' tall and usually unbranched, except toward the inflorescence. Initially, there is a low rosette of basal leaves that disappears when the plant bolts during the spring. The central stem and upper stems are light green, multiangular-terete, and sparsely to moderately covered with spreading white hairs. Alternate leaves occur along the entire length of these stems, becoming smaller in size and more sparse as they ascend. These leaves are up to 3¾" long and 1¼" across; they are ovate, lanceolate, oblanceolate, or narrowly elliptic in shape. The leaf margins are often short-ciliate; upper leaves usually have entire (toothless) margins, while lower leaves are usually sparingly toothed, especially toward their tips. All of these leaves clasp the stems at their bases to a greater or less extent. Both the upper and lower leaf surfaces are light to medium green and sparsely short-pubescent to nearly glabrous. The central stem terminates in a panicle of flowerheads that is somewhat flat-headed. In addition, smaller panicles or clusters of flowerheads may develop from the axils of upper leaves. The branches and peduncles of these flowerheads are similar to the stems, except their hairs are shorter. There are often solitary leafy bracts up to 1" long where the branches of an inflorescence divide; these bracts are narrowly lanceolate. Each daisy-like flowerhead is ½–¾" across, consisting of 100-300 ray florets that surround a dense head of disk florets. The petaloid rays of the flowerhead are white (less often light pink or light violet), linear in shape, and densely distributed. The corollas of the disk florets are 2-3 mm. long, yellow, and narrowly tubular in shape. Surrounding the cup-like base of each flowerhead, there are numerous appressed phyllaries in a single overlapping series. Individual phyllaries are light green, linear in shape, and sparsely short-pubescent. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, lasting about 1–1½ months. There is either a mild floral fragrance or none. Afterwards, this plant tends to die down for the remainder of the summer. The florets are replaced by achenes with small tufts of white bristly hair; they are distributed by the wind. The narrow achenes are 0.5–1 mm. long. The root system is shallow and fibrous, sometimes forming a small caudex on older plants. Colonies of plants occasionally occur at favorable sites. Cultivation
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Description

General: Sunflower or composite family (Asteraceae; Compositae). Philadelphia fleabane is a native, biennial or short-lived, somewhat weedy, perennial herb. The hemispherical, aster-like flowers (1.5 –2.5cm diameter), which bloom in the spring, have yellow centers of tubular disk flowers (2.5-3cm long), surrounded by from 100-150 narrow, white to pinkish-purple rays (5-10mm long). The flowers grow on branches atop a 30 to 90cm-tall leafless, usually single, stem that grows out of a sparse rosette of basal leaves (4-16cm long). Each branch can bear from a few to several flowers or drooping closed buds. The opened flowers close at night. The basal leaves are ovate (widest near the base) with toothed margins. Another group of smaller, lanceolate leaves surround and clasp the stem near the base. The leaves and stems can be sparsely pubescent to quite hairy. The genus name, Erigeron stems from the Greek eri, "early" and geron "old man," probably because of the

plant’s hairy appearance. The common name “fleabane” is from Old English and it refers to the plant’s odor, which supposedly can repel fleas.

Similar species: Erigeron pulchellus has fewer ray flowers (40-60). E. quercifolius is shorter with violet or blue flowers. E. strigosus is an annual from 30-90cm tall, which lacks the clasping leaves surrounding the stem. Low Erigeron (E. pumilis Nutt.) is from 5-30cm tall and can have white, pink, or bluish rays.

Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: Philadelphia fleabane grows in moist to very wet conditions. Plants grow in wet meadows and grassy openings, flood plains, lowland woodlands, thickets, fields, stream banks, low pastures, wet roadsides and seepage areas. The size of the plant varies with habitat.

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Alternative names

Daisy fleabane, common fleabane, marsh, fleabane, frost-root, skervish, poor robin’s plantain

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Philadelphia Fleabane is a common plant that occurs in almost every county of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is native. Habitats include moist depressions in black soil prairies, moist meadows along rivers, low areas along ponds and small lakes, edges of marshes, roadside ditches, moist depressions along railroads, fallow fields, vacant lots, and waste areas. Moist disturbed areas are preferred. 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, 4–80 cm; fibrous-rooted, caudices simple. Stems erect (green proximally, leafy to arrays), hirsuto-villous to villous proximally, loosely strigose to sparsely hirsute distally, minutely glandular. Leaves basal (persistent or withering by flowering) and cauline; basal blades oblanceolate to obovate, (15–)30–110(–150) × 10–25(–40) mm, margins shallowly crenate to coarsely serrate or pinnately lobed, faces sparsely hirsute to villous, eglandular; cauline blades oblong-oblanceolate to lanceolate, gradually reduced distally (bases clasping to auriculate-clasping). Heads (1–)3–35 usually in corymbiform arrays (ultimate branches arising near stem tips). Involucres 4–6 × 6–15 mm. Phyllaries in 2–3 series (sometimes basally connate), hirsuto-villous to sparsely hirsute or glabrous, sometimes minutely glandular. Ray florets 150–250(–400); corollas usually white, sometimes pinkish, 5–10 mm, laminae not coiling or tardily coiling. Disc corollas 2.1–3.2 mm. Cypselae 0.6–1.1 mm, 2-nerved, faces sparsely strigose; pappi: outer of setae, inner of 15–20(–30) bristles.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Philadelphia Fleabane is a common plant that occurs in almost every county of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is native. Habitats include moist depressions in black soil prairies, moist meadows along rivers, low areas along ponds and small lakes, edges of marshes, roadside ditches, moist depressions along railroads, fallow fields, vacant lots, and waste areas. Moist disturbed areas are preferred. Faunal Associations
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Dispersal

Establishment

The plant will grow in a variety of soils. However, it requires soils that are moist and moderately well drained. It grows best in full sun but will tolerate dappled shade.

Seeds: Wildflower seeds should be sown directly into beds or scattered in the garden during early spring. The seeds should germinate in about four weeks.

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Philadelphia Fleabane in Illinois

Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia Fleabane)
(Also called Marsh Fleabane; bees collect pollen or suck nectar; flies and beetles feed on pollen or suck nectar; other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Graenicher, Petersen, Moure & Hurd, LaBerge, Krombein et al., and Fothergill & Vaughn as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus fervidus (Pt), Bombus griseocallis sn; Anthophoridae (Anthophorinae): Exomalopsis asteris (Pt); Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata sn fq, Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp fq (Rb, Gr); Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Svastra obliqua obliqua (LB); Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada articulata sn fq (Rb, Gr), Nomada cressonii sn, Nomada denticulata sn (Gr), Nomada rhodoxantha sn (Gr), Nomada sayi sn (Gr), Nomada superba superba sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys moesta sn (Gr); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile centuncularis sn cp (Gr); Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis pilosifrons sn (Rb, Gr), Osmia atriventris sn cp (Gr), Osmia distincta sn (Gr), Osmia georgica sn cp; Megachilidae (Stelidini): Stelis lateralis sn fq (Rb, Gr), Stelis sexmaculata sn (Gr), Stelis subemarginata sn (Gr); Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti sn, Heriades variolosa variolosa (Kr)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Dufoureinae): Dufourea marginatus (Pt); Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon virescens sn cp (Rb, Gr), Augochlorella aurata sn cp, Augochlorella striata sn cp (Rb, Gr), Halictus confusus sn cp fq, Halictus ligatus sn cp fq (Rb, Gr, Pt), Halictus rubicunda (MH), Halictus sp. (Lasioglossum sp.) sn (Gr), Lasioglossum albipennis sn, Lasioglossum anomalis (Pt), Lasioglossum connexus (MH), Lasioglossum coriaceus sn cp (Rb, Gr), Lasioglossum cressonii sn cp (Gr), Lasioglossum forbesii (MH), Lasioglossum imitatus sn, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pictus (MH), Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum tegularis sn cp (Gr), Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes clematidis sn (Gr), Sphecodes cressonii sn, Sphecodes dichroa sn (Gr); Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn (Gr), Hylaeus mesillae sn (Rb, Gr), Hylaeus modestus modestus sn cp (Gr); Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena commoda sn cp (Gr), Andrena cressonii sn cp (Gr), Andrena fragilis sn (Gr), Andrena mariae sn, Andrena nigrifrons (Kr), Andrena robertsonii sn (Gr), Andrena spiraeana (Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn (Gr)

Wasps
Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi (Rb, Gr), Isodontia philadelphica (Gr); Vespidae: Vespula germanica (Gr); Vespidae (Eumeninae): Ancistrocerus adiabatus (Gr), Ancistrocerus antilope (Gr), Ancistrocerus catskill (Gr), Euodynerus foraminatus, Stenodynerus ammonia fq, Stenodynerus anormis fq, Stenodynerus oculeus

Flies
Syrphidae: Epistrophe emarginata (Gr), Eristalis transversus (Gr), Eupeodes americanus (Gr), Paragus bicolor, Paragus tibialis (Rb, Gr), Rhingia nasica (Gr), Sphaerophoria contiqua (Gr), Syritta pipiens (Gr), Syrphus ribesii (Gr), Toxomerus geminatus (Gr), Toxomerus marginatus (Gr); Bombyliidae: Aldrichia ehrmanii fp fq (Rb, Gr); Stratiomyidae: Nemotelus nigrinus (Gr), Odontomyia virgo (Gr); Conopidae: Thecophora occidensis, Zodion fulvifrons (Rb, Gr) fq; Tachinidae: Clausicella floridensis, Copecrypta ruficauda (Gr), Cylindromyia carolinae (Gr), Epigrimyia polita (Gr), Gymnoclytia immaculata (Rb, Gr), Gymnoclytia occidua fq, Leucostoma simplex, Periscepsia laevigata, Phasia purpurascens, Siphona geniculata; Calliphoridae: Calliphora vicina (Gr), Lucilia illustris (Gr); Sarcophagidae: Helicobia rapax (Rb, Gr), Ravinia anxia, Sarcophaga sinuata, Sphixapata trilineata (Gr); Muscidae: Hydrotaea sp. (Gr), Neomyia cornicina; Anthomyiidae: Calythea nigricans, Delia platura; Sciaridae: Sciara exigua (Gr)

Butterflies
Papilionidae: Eurytides marcellus (FV); Nymphalidae: Limenitis archippus (FV), Phyciodes tharos (Rb, FV); Lycaenidae: Calycopis cecrops (FV), Lycaena hyllus, Strymon melinus (FV); Pieridae: Eurema nicippe

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Ancyloxypha numitor, Polites mystic (Gr), Polites peckius (Rb, Gr), Polites themistocles (Rb, Gr)

Moths
Geometridae: Lomographa vestaliata (Gr); Sesiidae: Cisseps fulvicollis

Beetles
Cantharidae: Rhagonycha dichrous fp np; Cerambycidae: Brachysomida bivittata (Gr); Chrysomelidae: Cryptocephalus quadruplex (Gr), Diabrotica undecimpunctata fp np; Cleridae: Trichodes apivorus (Gr); Mordellidae: Mordellistena comata (Gr); Scarabaeidae (Cetonniae): Trichiotinus piger fp np (Rb, Gr)

Plant Bugs
Miridae: Adelphocoris rapidus (Rb, Gr), Lygus lineolaris (Rb, Gr), Metriorrhynchomiris dislocatus (Gr), Plagiognathus sp. (Gr); Rhopalidae: Arhyssus lateralis

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Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Basidiophora entospora parasitises live Erigeron philadelphicus

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Erigeron philadelphicus

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 philadelphicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
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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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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Management

Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)

These plant materials are somewhat available from commercial sources. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”

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Control

Please contact your local agricultural extension specialist or county weed specialist to learn what works best in your area and how to use it safely.

Always read label and safety instructions for each control method. Trade names and control measures appear in this document only to provide specific information. USDA, NRCS does not guarantee or warranty the products and control methods named, and other products may be equally effective.

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Philadelphia fleabane is a native wildflower that occurs over much of the United States and will often self sow if growing under favorable conditions. However, this plant is listed as an invasive weed, so be sure to determine if it can be a problem in your area before planting.

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Weediness

This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Please consult with your local NRCS Field Office, Cooperative Extension Service office, or state natural resource or agriculture department regarding its status and use. Weed information is also available from the PLANTS Web site at plants.usda.gov.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Ethnobotanic: The Cherokee and other Native American tribes used Philadelphia fleabane for a variety of medicinal purposes including epilepsy. A poultice was made from the plant to treat headaches. The roots were either made into tea or chewed to treat colds and coughs. The smoke from incense made from the plant was inhaled to treat head colds. A snuff was made and sniffed also for head colds. It was mixed with other herbs to also treat headaches and inflammation of the nose and throat. The tea was used to break fevers. The plant was boiled and mixed with tallow to make a balm that could be spread upon sores on the skin. It was used for as an eye medicine to treat “dimness of sight.” It was used as an astringent, a diuretic, and as an aid for kidneys or the gout. The Cherokee and Houma tribes boiled the roots to make a drink for “menstruation troubles” and to induce miscarriages (to treat “suppressed menstruation”). It was also used to treat hemorrhages and for spitting of blood. The Catawba used a drink from the plant to treat heart trouble.

Livestock: Cows graze this plant for forage.

Wildlife: Deer use this plant for food. Butterflies, bees and moths pollinate the flowers.

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Wikipedia

Erigeron philadelphicus

Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia fleabane) is a plant in the daisy family, Asteraceae. Also known as Skevish, Skervish, Philadelphia daisy, frost-root, and poor robin's plantain.[1]

Description[edit]

Flowers

Erigeron philadelphicus is a herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, on hairy stems. The flowers are pink-rayed, yellow centered, borne in spring. The number of closely packed petals ranges from 50 to 100 per flower. The blooms are less than one inch in diameter. The stem is hairy with rough hairs. The middle to lower leaves are heart shaped, and the plant is about 0.5–2.5 ft (15–76 cm) tall. Its active growth period is from spring to summer (April to July). This plant can be found throughout North America along roadsides, in fields, in thickets, and in open woods.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Erigeron philadelphicus. USDA NRCS Plant Guide.

References[edit]

  • Dickinson, T.; Metsger, G.; Hull, J.; and Dickinson, R. (2004) The ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 163.


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