Common fleabane is a yellow daisy with gray-green felt-like flowers and stems. When it blossoms, it gives off a scent that smells like fruit as well as soap. In earlier times, people made use of this scented flower for driving off insects (fleas), which explains its English name. The plant was used for treating dysentery and the leaves for healing bruises and wounds. Common fleabane is very common along the Dutch coast and river banks. However, it is rare in countries further north than the Wadden Islands. It grows best in sunny to lightly shaded areas, such as dune slacks, river banks, roadsides, grasslands, along train tracks and other such areas, as long as the soil is damp, moderately nutrient-rich, contains calcium and sometimes even brackish. Cows avoid the plant. Therefore, common fleabane easily spreads when grazing is extensive. Too many grazers result in trampling.