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Blue Fleabane

Erigeron acer

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Goldenrod, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Annual or Biennial
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Grassland, meadows, mountains, riversides, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, walls, wasteland.

Purple, many petals
Loose clusters of erect flowers with small pink or lilac-coloured rays and yellow centres. Flowers measure up to 18mm tall. The flowers are named because they often look blue from a distance away.
Off-white (pinkish) pappus.
Long, slender, untoothed leaves which half-clasp their stems. The leaves alternate along their stems. Annual or biennial.
Other Names:
Bitter Fleabane.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Erigeron species commonly known as Blue Fleabane. Erigeron is a genus of plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae), which contains many species known for their small, daisy-like flowers and many are commonly referred as Fleabane.

Erigeron Karvinskianus is a species that is commonly known as Santa Barbara Daisy, Mexican Daisy, or Blue Fleabane. This species is a compact perennial that can reach up to 60 cm in height, with hairy stems and small blue or lavender flowers. It produces an abundance of flowers over a long period, from spring to fall. This species is native to Mexico and Central America, but has been widely cultivated as an ornamental plant and naturalized in many other parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and North America.

Erigeron linearis is another species that is also commonly known as Blue Fleabane. It is a perennial herb that can grow up to 1m tall, with long narrow leaves and small blue or white flowers. It's native to western North America and can be found in dry rocky or sandy habitats, from sagebrush steppe to alpine tundra.

There are other species that can also be referred as blue fleabane such as Erigeron glaucus or Erigeron speciosus, but the specific species can vary depending on the region. It's important to check with local authorities or experts for the best guidance for identification and management of the species in your area.


Blue Fleabane, also known as Erigeron acer, is a beautiful and versatile plant that belongs to the daisy family, Asteraceae. This plant is native to North America and is found in a variety of habitats, from woodlands and meadows to rocky slopes and prairies. Blue Fleabane is a hardy perennial that can grow up to 2 feet tall and 2 feet wide, producing stunning blue-violet flowers from late spring to early fall.

Blue Fleabane is a popular plant for gardeners due to its attractive and long-lasting blooms, as well as its adaptability to various soil types and light conditions. It is commonly used in rock gardens, borders, and as a groundcover, and can also be planted in containers. The plant prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil, but can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions once established.

In addition to its ornamental value, Blue Fleabane has a number of medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries by indigenous people to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, fever, and gastrointestinal issues. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and can be brewed into a tea or taken as a tincture.

Blue Fleabane is also an important plant for pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, who are attracted to its nectar-rich flowers. The plant's small seeds are dispersed by wind and can also provide a food source for birds and small mammals.

Blue Fleabane is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to grow and care for, making it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. The plant can be propagated by seed, division, or cuttings, and is generally pest and disease-free. However, it is important to note that Blue Fleabane can be invasive in some areas, particularly in wetlands and disturbed sites. Therefore, it is important to check with your local extension office or natural resources department before planting it in your garden.

The leaves of Blue Fleabane are narrow and slightly hairy, with a gray-green color that complements the vibrant blue-violet flowers. The plant's Latin name, Erigeron acer, comes from the Greek words eri, meaning "early," and geron, meaning "old man," a reference to the plant's hairy leaves. The common name "Blue Fleabane" is thought to refer to the plant's historical use as a natural flea repellent for pets.

Blue Fleabane is just one of many species of Erigeron, which includes over 200 species of annuals, perennials, and biennials. Other popular species include Mexican Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus), a low-growing plant with dainty white and pink flowers, and Cutleaf Daisy (Erigeron compositus), a tall plant with yellow daisy-like flowers.

Blue Fleabane has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. Native Americans used it to treat respiratory issues, fever, and gastrointestinal problems, and it has also been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. The plant contains compounds that have been shown to have antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, and some studies suggest that it may have potential as a treatment for certain types of cancer.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Blue Fleabane has also been used in food and beverage production. The plant has a slightly bitter taste and can be used to add flavor to salads, teas, and other dishes. It has also been used to make a traditional medicinal tea that is believed to help with a variety of health issues.

Blue Fleabane is also known for its cultural significance. In some Native American cultures, it is believed that the plant has the power to ward off evil spirits and provide protection. It is also associated with the concept of balance and is used in certain spiritual practices to help restore balance to a person or situation.

Blue Fleabane is an important plant for pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, who rely on its nectar and pollen as a food source. The plant's small seeds are dispersed by wind, and can provide a food source for birds and small mammals. Because of its ecological value, Blue Fleabane is often used in habitat restoration projects to help support local wildlife populations.

In conclusion, Blue Fleabane is a versatile and valuable plant that offers many benefits to gardeners, nature enthusiasts, and anyone interested in natural remedies. From its ornamental value to its medicinal properties and cultural significance, this plant has a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries. If you are looking for a hardy and beautiful plant that can also contribute to local ecosystems and provide potential health benefits, Blue Fleabane is an excellent choice.


Blue Fleabane filmed at Formby, Lancashire on the 4th June 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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