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Hairy Fleabane Erigeron bonariensis

Previously known as:

  • Conyza ambigua
  • Conyza bonariensis
  • Conyza crispa
  • Erigeron crispus
  • Erigeron linifolius
Phonetic Spelling
er-IJ-er-on boh-nair-ee-EN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The common name, Hairy Fleabane is derived from the stiff bristles that are found on the stems, leaves and flowers of this plant. It has been thought that this plant, as well as other varieties of Erigeron could be used as a means of repelling fleas. That myth has proven to be incorrect, but the common names referring to fleas is still in use.  

Native to Central and South America, this weed has spread to all of North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.  

It is a rapidly growing summer annual or biennial weed in the Asteraceae (daisy) family.  It can be found in disturbed sides, roadsides, urban areas, and cultivated fields and even in the cracks in pavement. It is often found to be growing in locations where Horseweed (Erigeron canadensis), and Telegraph weed (Heterotheca grandiflora) are present.  These three weeds are said to be the most unsightly weeds that grow as natives in California.  The plant is rarely found in North Carolina.

Considered invasive, it spreads when its fluffy seeds are blown by the wind, washed into the surrounding area by rainwater and by human activity.  Seeds that are spread remain viable for up to 3 years.  Elimination of this weed allows other more valued natives to survive, however, is curtailed by the plants' resistance to some herbicides.    

In commercial sites, such as orchards, its invasive nature has become problematic, interfering with the crops being grown.  In South America, it is a host for the lettuce mosaic virus, affecting the yield produced.  

Flowers form in clusters that can bloom year round.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant is considered to be invasive.  Dermatitis can occur when contact with any part of the plant is made.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

More information on Erigeron.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#weeds#weedy#summer annual weed#high maintenance#fast growing#naturalizes#self-seeding#poor soils tolerant#gray-green leaves#dry soils tolerant#contact dermatitis
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#weeds#weedy#summer annual weed#high maintenance#fast growing#naturalizes#self-seeding#poor soils tolerant#gray-green leaves#dry soils tolerant#contact dermatitis
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Erigeron
    Species:
    bonariensis
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Invasive weed
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South and Central America
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Looks like a small “puffball” of a dandelion bristle bearing seeds form a fuzzy, spherical, cream-colored "head".  Seeds are tiny, narrow, football-shaped, or oblong, and approximately 1/17 of an inch
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Head flowers are found on the end of stems with a green, cup-shaped base formed by bracts that overlap. It tapers toward the top with small, yellow disk flowers surrounded by cream-colored bristles.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Entire
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Gray-green leaves entire to slightly toothed. Basal leaves as well as alternating leaves along the stems.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Its erect stems are striated and covered with stiff hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Causes contact dermatitis
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Sesquiterpene lactones
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes