South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae: Erigeron divergens

Asteraceae: Erigeron divergens


Download Mature plants (4.1 MB)

Download Leaves and stems - hairs (2.0 MB)

Download Head (403 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

Spreading fleabane


Erigeron divergens is annual to biennial to weakly perennial herb with erect stems, 10–40 cm long, often branched at the base from a simple caudex, the stems covered with short stiff hairs. The leaves are both basal and cauline. The basal blades are obovate to oblanceolate, 1–5 cm long, with petioles up to 5 cm long, the margins are entire. These leaves usually deciduous by flowering. The simple, alternate cauline leaves are reduced in size, becoming oblanceolate to linear and sessile above. The inflorescence consists of numerous heads in an open, diffuse cluster, nodding in bud. The involucres are hemispheric, 3–5 mm tall with 3 to 4 series of glandular, hairy bracts with a brown midvein. There are 70 – 150 ray flowers with blue to pink to white ligules, 5-10 mm long and numerous yellow disk flowers, 2–3 mm long. The fruit are achenes about 1 mm long. Spreading fleabane blooms from June into August on open sandy and rocky sites in western South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Spreading fleabane provides a profusion of flowers in the early summer, with frilly flowers that range from blue to white in color and that attract several species of native bumblebees and butterflies. It is short-lived but will reseed itself. It is drought tolerant and is a great addition to a native prairie garden.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Collect drying heads in late summer and remove seeds.

Germination: Fall or spring sowing. Plant very shallow as they need light to germinate.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Well drained light soils.

Water: Medium dry to dry, once the seedlings are established.

Asteraceae: Erigeron divergens