WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

The daisy-like ray flowers of this 10–18-inch tall, densely hairy, plant vary from solid white to deeply tinted with lavender, and with a yellow central disk. The buds nod, then straighten as the flower opens. Note the stems are often branching and are covered with erect, spreading (not flat-lying) hairs.


FLOWERS: April–August. Composite head with a flat disk 1/2–1-inch diameter (12–25 mm). Ray flowers with 75-150 florets, white, pinkish tinged, or lavender but without a midstripe on the bottom; disk flowers yellow; phyllaries densely hairy.


LEAVES: Basal and alternate on stem. Basal leaves vary from linear to oval or spatula-shaped, 3/4–2 3/8-inches long (2–6 cm), 1/8–1/2-inch wide (3–12 mm), margins entire or lobed. Stem leaves linear, narrow, 1/8–1/4 inch wide (3–6 mm) with erect, spreading hairs, margins hairy and entire or with 2–3 lobes; upper leaves gradually smaller,  sessile but not clasping the stem.


HABITAT: Loose sand, gravelly loam; desert grasslands and scrub, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa-fir, spruce-aspen forests.


ELEVATION: 3,500–10,300 feet.


RANGE: Throughout Western U. S.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Numerous of look-alike fleabanes in NM; the spreading hairs covering the leaves and branching stems help identify this widespread species. Western Fleabane, E. bellidiastrum, with a similar range, has stems that branch from mid-stem and only 22–70 ray flowers often with lilac strip on the backside and stem leaves with lobes. The colony-forming Trailing Fleabane, E. flagellaris, with a similar statewide range, sends out runners that root, and has foliage covered with flat-lying hairs. Plains Fleabane, E. modestus, in the eastern half of the state, has reddish, drooping buds, marks on the back of the rays, flower heads 1/2–3/4-inch wide, and often multiple stems from a woody root crown.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread statewide in low- to high-elevation habitats.

SPREADING  FLEABANE,  FLEABANE  DAISY

ERIGERON DIVERGENS

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Annual, short-lived perennial herb

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Long, spreading hairs on phyllaries (left arrow) and on stem (right arrow).

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