Erigeron strigosus (Prairie Fleabane)

Plant Info
Also known as: Daisy Fleabane, Rough Fleabane
Family:Asteraceae (Aster)
Life cycle:annual, short-lived perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; dry prairie, roadsides, along railroads
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:12 to 30 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
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: panicle

[photo of flowers] Up to 200 small daisy-like flowers in an open branching cluster at the top of the plant. Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across with 50 to 100 short, narrow white rays (petals) that may sometimes be pink or bluish tinged, and yellow center disk. Occasionally flowers have very short or nearly no rays. Early heads form at the tip of the branch and nearby lateral buds, later heads emerge from lower leaf axils creating an open array of white blooms.

[photo of bracts] Behind the flower are 2 to 4 rows of narrow light green bracts that are hairless or sparsely hairy. The flower stalk is ¾ to 1 inch long and also hairless or sparsely hairy.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[photo of stem leaves] Leaves are 1 to 6 inches long, ¼ to 1 inch wide, mostly toothless or with a few small teeth, hairless to sparsely hairy, becoming smaller as they ascend the stem.

[photo of lower leaves] Leaves near the base are elliptic, spatula-shaped to rounded, tapering to a slender stalk, becoming stalkless and more lance-oblong or linear farther up the stem. Stems are stiff and hairless to sparsely hairy.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed with plume

[photo of seed] Fruit is a small head of nondescript brown seed, each about 1mm long, with a few relatively short light brown hairs attached.


The flowers of Prairie Fleabane are very similar to Philadelphia fleabane, (Erigeron philadelphicus), which has toothed clasping leaves, blooms earlier, and is more a woodland species. Also similar is Annual Fleabane (Erigeron annuus), which has broader, more distinctly toothed leaves, is hairier overall, and is generally a taller plant. There are 2 recognized varieties in Minnesota, with a third (var. beyrichii) under review. Var. septentrionalis is uncommon, characterized by flattened (in cross section) appressed to spreading hairs about 1mm long on the stems and flower bracts. Var. strigosus is the more common, with round (in cross section) hairs that are appressed to ascending, up to .5mm long, and more sparse.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Isanti and Ramsey counties.


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

Posted by: Bob - Dodge County, rural Hayfield
on: 2014-06-14 00:35:43

Hello, I see on the distribution map that Prairie Fleabane is listed as "questionable presence" for Dodge County. I believe that I have several specimens growing wild on my property. Is there a way to confirm it for you?

Posted by: Paul - SAINT PAUL
on: 2014-07-05 10:55:51

In bloom 4 July 2014 at Ottawa Bluffs, LeSueur County.

Posted by: Karen - Northern Anoka County
on: 2016-06-28 09:49:19

The large field next to our long driveway is FULL of Prairie Fleabane, and it is quite magnificent!

Posted by: B.Pittman - Wells township, Rice Cty
on: 2016-07-09 16:44:21

Our butterfly garden, mixed seed from wildflower pKt. Will try to establish for naturalizing on our back acreage.

Posted by: Nan - Dodge County
on: 2017-06-20 10:05:44

We've observed this at our bee yard in Milton Township in a pasture area near the Zumbro.

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