Showy Fleabane (Erigeron speciosus)

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A wonderful plant for hot, dry areas!

Fleabane originally got its name by way of early American settlers from Europe, who would use dried fleabane to ward off insects. However, it appears they were wrong - fleabane is very attractive to many pollinators!

This particular species is widely spread across the western U.S., where it inhabits hot, dry, gravelly areas. In Western Washington, it can commonly be found in the Garry Oak prairies of southern Puget Sound, and in the Olympic rainshadow. It is attractive to many bees and Syrphid flies - in Seattle we most often see female sweat bees (Agapostemon Texanus), nomad bees (Nomada spp.), and mining bees (Andrena spp.).

Showy fleabane is an excellent plant for the garden, and survives well in hot, dry areas. It is a very long-lived plant that loves benign neglect. Give it a bit of water at first, then completely forget about it - it will return with purple summer flowers for many years!

Long-lived perennial (20+ years)
Full sun to mostly sun
Moist to dry
Usually under two feet, but can get a bit bigger over time
Cheery purple flowers with yellow centers
Bloom Period:
Late spring to late summer
Soft pointed leaves
Native Range:
Across western North America
Typical Habitat:
Dry, sunny fields, prairies, hillsides