Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I searched all last evening to discover the identity of the Daisy Fleabane, Erigeron strigosus. It is always such a good feeling to finally make it! :-)
From The Wayside Flowers of Summer, A Study of the Conspicuous Herbaceous Plants Blooming Upon Our Northern Roadsides During the Months of July and August:
"The Daisy Fleabane when in full possession of the field rises gaunt and stiff on a simple, erect stalk, which branches at the top into a loose, long- stemmed cluster of small Aster-like flowers. In the Middle West these flowers are at their height of beauty in July, but in the uplands of New England they are beautiful and abundant in August, and often strike hands and meet the real Aster in September.
The flower-head of the Daisy Fleabane can be very easily distinguished from an Aster. The rays, white or pink, vary in number from fifty to eighty, and are so narrow that they look like fringe; the florets of the central disk bloom in circles from circumference to centre, and when all have opened the rays collapse. The Daisy Fleabane makes most of the family show in July but there may be, and probably are, in every Fleabane community others of the genus, especially the Philadelphia Fleabane, an earlier and more beautiful form, which in June sometimes takes possession of a field on its own account. The two are very similar in general appearance; the distinction between them lies chiefly in leaves and stems.
The ugly English name is due to the popular belief that the leaves will drive away fleas, which, of course, they will not do."
Keeler, Harriet L. The Wayside Flowers of Summer. New York, 1917. Google Book Search. Web. 16 Jun 2009.