Erigeron philadelphicus (Philadelphia Fleabane)

Plant Info
Also known as: Common Fleabane
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:annual, biennial, short-lived perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist soil, open woods, open fields, along shores
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:6 to 36 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FAC
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 7+petals Cluster type: flat

[photo of flower] Flattish to open clusters of 3 to 35 small daisy-like flowers at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across, with 100 or more pink to white thread-like ray flowers (petals) and a yellow center disk. The flowers close at night so early in the day only the pinkish buds may be seen.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of basal leaves] Leaves are somewhat variable. Around the base of the plant is a rosette of nearly spoon shaped leaves with rounded tips. Basal leaves have coarse rounded teeth at the tip end and are up to 6 inches long, alternately attached but crowded around the stem.

[photo of leaves] As the leaves ascend the stem they become more widely spaced and the shape becomes more elliptical with a pointed tip and more pointed teeth. The base of these leaves clasps the stem. The stem leaves average about 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide. Leaves at the top of the plant near the flowers are much smaller, more heart shaped and toothless. All leaves are hairy. The main stem is also covered in hairs, becoming more sparsely hairy at the top of the plant.


Philadelphia Fleabane is similar to Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annus) and Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus). Philadelphia Fleabane blooms earlier in the season, has pinker flowers, and has clasping leaves which the other 2 species do not. Also of note is the common name “Daisy Fleabane” is often used for all 3 species, so don't let that confuse you.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Gary - Harpers Ferry, IA
on: 2016-06-07 09:13:14

Have a two acre second year prairie grass and flower plot dominated by fleabane. I had an allergic reaction to it or perhaps some other plants in the plot. Never had allergic reactions before. Will fleabane do this to some people?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-06-07 09:59:27

Fleabane doesn't have any more allergens than any other plant that we're aware of, but we aren't experts on the subject.

Posted by: Mani S - Minnetonka, Hennepin
on: 2017-06-14 14:51:02

I have these in my backyard!

Posted by: cameron - acton ontario canada
on: 2017-08-02 14:46:10

Erigeron philadelphicus I live in Acton Ontario canada and get this in my garden every year,

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