Even though wild geraniums may bloom and a few violets may be left, it is a good indication that spring is waning when the fleabanes begin to bloom. In pastures and sunny places stand up the many-branched heads of these small, daisy-like flowers, the Erigerons. They are slightly fragrant, delicately colored, rather weak and brittle of stem. They are the forerunners of hordes of summer Composites whose appearance now and through the summer months will increase as the heat grows and the summer days mature.
May - June Roadsides, fields.
Daisy fleabane's flower is a bright yellow, velvety disk of stamens and pistils surrounded by many fine, thready rays. They are so thready and fine that in Philadelphia fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) there may be 150 to 200 rays in one small flower. It is. on the whole, an attractive blossom, not especially weedy in appearance, although to most people it is a weed. Children for generations have gathered fleabane "daisies" as bouquets for their mothers or for their dolls.
Means of identifying three of the fleabanes require close observation. Erigeron annuus one of the few American weeds to be naturalized in Europe, has clasping, tapering leaves; the rays are white tinged with pink or lavender and are rather short as compared with the width of the center of the flower. Erigeron philadelphicus is hairy with clasping, hairy leaves which usually are toothed or lobed. The rays are very abundant and are rose-purple or pink or white; the. buds droop. Erigeron strigosus is the most slender of the three, with very narrow, alternate leaves. The rays are white, twice the length of the yellow disk center.