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Showy or Aspen Fleabane

Aspen Fleabane in Bloom at Wildlife Viewing Area “Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
― Hans Christian Andersen, The Complete Fairy Tales

Aspen Fleabane Flower HeadFleabanes are members of the Compositae family that include asters and sunflowers. Fleabanes can be distinguished structurally from asters by the numerous narrow flower rays. Bloom dates also assist in identification; fleabane flower late spring through early summer and asters flower from mid-summer until fall.

Aspen Fleabane Leaves and StemFive species of fleabane have been found on the Refuge. Three of which grow in the Wildlife Viewing Area. Aspen Fleabane (Erigeron speciosis) can be identified by glabrous (hairy), lance-shaped leaves. Areas close to the Bitterroot River, especially along the WVA trail, have extensive stands of this plant in bloom right now (July 12). According to Lackschewitz (1991), this species is "common in moist grasslands and open forests from the valley to lower subalpine zones". More common on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley away from granite-based soils.
 
Last Updated: Jul 12, 2014
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