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Bilbao Fleabane

Conyza bilbaoana

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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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, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, 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:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, meadows, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, many petals
Pale yellowish-green petals, tinged purple with age. Flowerheads measure no larger than 1cm.
The fruit is an achene (seed) with a pappus (tuft of hairs) at one end. The fruit is oval to oblong and sparsely hairy. Just over 1mm in length.
Narrow, lance-shaped or linear leaves which are smooth and sparsely or not toothed at all. The leaves alternate on either sides of the stems. The stems are many-branched. In Britain, Bilbao Fleabane is most likely to be encountered around London and South Wales. A hairy annual or biennial plant.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Conyza bilbaoana, also known as Bilbao fleabane, is an annual herb in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe but now widely distributed in many parts of the world, including Africa, Asia and North America. It is considered as a weed and invasive species in some regions.

Conyza bilbaoana usually grows to a height of 30 cm and it has a branching stem that is covered with fine hair. The leaves are oblong, 1-2 cm long and covered with fine hair. The small, yellow-white composite flowerheads are arranged in a terminal corymb. The plant blooms throughout the summer and the fall.

This plant is quite adaptable and can grow in a variety of soil types and in full sun or partial shade. It can also tolerate drought and poor soil. It can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including pastures, meadows, roadsides, waste places and along railroads. It's also a common weed in cultivated fields, gardens, and nurseries.

Conyza bilbaoana is considered invasive and difficult to control, once it establishes in an area, it can outcompete native plants, thus reducing biodiversity. It is propagated by seeds, which are dispersed by wind, animals, and water. To control it, manual removal, using mulch or mulch combined with herbicide application are some of the methods.

It's worth noting that this plant contains a compound called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) which may cause liver damage if consumed in large amounts. Therefore, it is not recommended to use it as a medicinal or food plant without proper knowledge and guidance.


Bilbao Fleabane, also known as Conyza bilbaoana, is a flowering plant species belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, specifically to the Basque region of Spain, where it is commonly found growing on rocky and disturbed soils.

The Bilbao Fleabane is a relatively small plant, growing up to 30cm in height. Its leaves are lance-shaped and covered in fine hairs, giving them a slightly fuzzy texture. The plant's flowers are small and white, arranged in clusters at the end of its stems. They bloom from late spring through to early autumn, providing a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

Despite its small size, the Bilbao Fleabane is a hardy plant, able to survive in a range of soil types and environmental conditions. It is often found growing in urban areas, such as along roadsides and in abandoned lots. The plant has been known to help stabilize disturbed soils, making it a valuable asset in land restoration projects.

The Bilbao Fleabane has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, with various parts of the plant being used to treat a range of ailments, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions. It is said to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it useful for reducing pain and inflammation.

In recent years, the Bilbao Fleabane has become a popular plant for gardeners and horticulturists. Its small size and attractive flowers make it an ideal choice for rock gardens, containers, and as a ground cover in sunny areas. It is also a good plant for attracting pollinators to the garden.

Despite its many benefits, the Bilbao Fleabane is not without its downsides. It has been known to outcompete native plant species in some areas, leading to concerns about its potential to become invasive. In addition, it is considered an allergenic plant, with its fine hairs causing irritation to some people.

One interesting aspect of the Bilbao Fleabane is its relationship to other plant species in the Asteraceae family. It is closely related to other fleabanes, such as the Canadian Fleabane and the Eastern Daisy Fleabane, which are found in North America. These species have similar features, including small white flowers and lance-shaped leaves. The Bilbao Fleabane's unique distribution in the Basque region of Spain suggests that it has evolved to adapt to the specific environmental conditions of this area.

Another interesting feature of the Bilbao Fleabane is its potential as a bioindicator species. Bioindicators are plants, animals, or other organisms that are used to monitor the health of an ecosystem. Because the Bilbao Fleabane is able to grow in disturbed soils and urban areas, it may be useful for assessing the quality of urban ecosystems and the impact of human activities on the environment.

The Bilbao Fleabane's cultural and historical significance cannot be overlooked. The plant's name, "bilbaoana," refers to the city of Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain, where the plant is commonly found. The Basque people have a long tradition of using medicinal plants for health and wellness, and the Bilbao Fleabane is just one example of the many plant species that have been used in traditional Basque medicine.

One interesting ecological aspect of the Bilbao Fleabane is its role as a pioneer plant species. Pioneer species are the first plants to colonize and establish themselves in disturbed or barren areas, and they play a crucial role in the process of ecological succession. The Bilbao Fleabane's ability to grow in harsh conditions and stabilize soils make it an important pioneer species in the Basque region of Spain, where it can help to kickstart the process of ecological restoration.

In terms of conservation, the Bilbao Fleabane is considered a species of special interest in Spain. The plant's limited distribution and potential vulnerability to habitat loss and fragmentation make it a priority for conservation efforts. There are ongoing initiatives to protect the species and its habitat, including the implementation of conservation plans and the promotion of sustainable land use practices.

Another interesting aspect of the Bilbao Fleabane is its potential use in the field of bioremediation. Bioremediation is the process of using living organisms to break down or remove pollutants from the environment. The Bilbao Fleabane has been found to be capable of absorbing heavy metals from the soil, making it a potential candidate for use in phytoremediation projects.

Finally, the Bilbao Fleabane is a plant with cultural significance and a rich history. The Basque people have long used plants for medicinal and culinary purposes, and the Bilbao Fleabane is just one example of the many plant species that are part of their traditional knowledge. The plant has also been featured in Basque art and literature, making it an important part of the region's cultural heritage.

The Bilbao Fleabane has a number of interesting characteristics that make it an important plant for a range of different uses. One such use is in traditional medicine. In Basque traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma, as well as digestive issues and skin conditions. While there is limited scientific evidence to support these traditional uses, the plant's active compounds are being studied for their potential therapeutic applications.

One of the active compounds found in the Bilbao Fleabane is coumarin, which is known to have anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, and anticancer properties. This makes the plant a potentially valuable source of natural compounds for the development of new drugs and treatments. However, it is important to note that the plant contains compounds that can cause allergic reactions in some people, so caution should be exercised when using it in any context.

The Bilbao Fleabane also has important ecological roles as a food source and habitat for a range of insect and animal species. The plant's white flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, and its seeds are a food source for birds and small mammals. The plant's ability to grow in urban areas also makes it an important resource for urban biodiversity, helping to support a range of species in otherwise inhospitable environments.

In terms of cultivation, the Bilbao Fleabane is a relatively easy plant to grow. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun, but can tolerate some shade and poor soils. It can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and makes an attractive addition to garden borders or as a ground cover in rock gardens. However, it is important to note that the plant's potential invasiveness and allergenic properties should be carefully considered before introducing it to any new area.

In conclusion, the Bilbao Fleabane is a versatile plant with a range of potential applications in traditional medicine, drug development, and ecological restoration. Its important ecological roles as a food source and habitat for pollinators and other species make it an important part of many ecosystems. While the plant's potential allergenic properties and invasiveness should be carefully considered, its ease of cultivation and attractive appearance make it a valuable addition to any garden or restoration project.