Old man misnomer…


Daisy Fleabane copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus), a bright spot among grasses is oft considered a weed by persons is a treasured host for many native insects. Dried and stuffed into mattresses or hung from the rafters to ward off fleas, a long going ritual of settlers to America, Fleabane actually attracts fleas and many other insects. I’m not sure when it was discovered that this tradition was ineffective, but perhaps it was the best guess of the time.

This early old man (Latin origin of erigeron) does rise to bloom early in the season, often in late spring. It’s handsome flower is followed by fuzzy white seedheads, hence sealing it’s fate as “erigeron”.

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