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Robin's Plantain

Erigeron philadelphicus

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, Bilbao Fleabane, 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, 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:
70 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, meadows, riversides, roadsides, walls, wasteland, woodland.

White, many petals
The daisy-like flowers have more than 150 thread-like rays (sometimes up to 400) and a yellow centre. The flowers measure up to 2.5cm in diameter. Flowers are usually white but occasionally pink. Pollinated by bees, butterflies and moths. Similar in appearance to Tall Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) but with larger flowers.
Narrow, pyramid-shaped seeds.
The basal leaves are broadly lance-shaped. The teeth on the margins of the leaves are sparse. There are just a few stalkless stem leaves. The leaves do not clasp their stems. The stems are rough-haired. Garden escape species.
Other Names:
Common Fleabane, Daisy Fleabane, Fleabane Daisy, Frost-root, Marsh Fleabane, Philadelphia Fleabane, Poor Robin's Plantain, Skervish.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Erigeron philadelphicus, also known as Philadelphia fleabane, is a perennial herb that is native to North America. It is often found in meadows, fields, and along roadsides. The leaves are narrow and lanceolate, and the flowers are small, white to pink in color, and arranged in clusters on the top of the stem. The plant has medicinal properties and it is used for treatment of respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections, as well as for wound healing and minor skin irritations. It can also be used as a food source, as the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. It is also cultivated as ornamental plant for its daisy-like flowers.


Robin's Plantain, scientifically known as Erigeron philadelphicus, is a perennial plant that is native to North America. It belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes other well-known species such as sunflowers and daisies. This plant is commonly found in fields, meadows, and roadsides throughout much of the eastern and central United States and Canada.

The leaves of Robin's Plantain are long and slender, with a slightly hairy texture. They can grow up to 10 cm in length and have a toothed margin. The stems are also hairy and can reach heights of up to 70 cm. The flowers are small and daisy-like, with white or pink petals surrounding a yellow center. They bloom from June to September, attracting a variety of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths.

Robin's Plantain is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, from full sun to partial shade, and from dry to moist soils. It is often used in wildflower gardens and meadow plantings, as it adds a lovely splash of color to any landscape. It is also an important food source for many species of wildlife, including birds and small mammals.

In traditional medicine, Robin's Plantain has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including diarrhea, indigestion, and headaches. It was also used externally to treat cuts, bruises, and skin irritations. The plant contains a variety of compounds, including flavonoids, tannins, and essential oils, which are believed to be responsible for its medicinal properties.

Robin's Plantain is a versatile and attractive plant that is well-suited to a variety of growing conditions. Whether you are looking to add some color to your garden or attract beneficial wildlife, this plant is a great choice. And with its long history of medicinal use, it is also a valuable addition to any herbal medicine cabinet.

While Robin's Plantain is a beautiful and useful plant, it can also be considered a weed in certain situations. It has a tendency to spread quickly and can become invasive if not properly managed. As such, it is important to monitor its growth and take measures to prevent it from taking over other plants in the area.

One way to control the growth of Robin's Plantain is to cut back the stems after the flowers have bloomed. This will prevent the plant from producing seeds and spreading further. Additionally, the use of herbicides can be effective in controlling the growth of this plant, but it is important to follow all safety precautions and use the product as directed.

Another interesting aspect of Robin's Plantain is its cultural significance. It has been used by various Native American tribes for a variety of purposes, including as a food source, medicine, and even as a component of ceremonial rituals. The Cherokee, for example, used the plant to make a tea that was believed to promote healthy digestion, while the Iroquois used it to treat fevers and respiratory ailments.

One interesting aspect of Robin's Plantain is its relationship with pollinators. The plant produces nectar and pollen that are attractive to a variety of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. This makes it an important food source for these insects, which in turn helps to support a healthy ecosystem. By planting Robin's Plantain in your garden or landscape, you can help to support pollinator populations and promote biodiversity in your area.

Another interesting feature of Robin's Plantain is its ability to thrive in disturbed areas. The plant is often found growing in fields and along roadsides, where the soil has been disturbed by human activity. This ability to grow in disturbed areas makes it a valuable plant for erosion control and reclamation projects.

Additionally, Robin's Plantain has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of respiratory ailments, including coughs and colds. The plant contains compounds that are believed to have anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, which can help to soothe the throat and reduce congestion.

Another interesting aspect of Robin's Plantain is its use in alternative medicine. The plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including fever, cough, and asthma. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help to reduce inflammation and protect against cellular damage.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Robin's Plantain has also been used in culinary applications. The young leaves of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked, and have a slightly bitter flavor that is reminiscent of lettuce. They can be added to salads, soups, or sautéed as a side dish. In some cultures, the plant is also used as a tea, which is believed to have a soothing effect on the digestive system.

Finally, Robin's Plantain is a valuable plant for wildlife habitat. It provides food and shelter for a variety of animals, including songbirds, rabbits, and ground squirrels. The plant's leaves and stems are also a favorite food source for many caterpillars, which in turn provide food for birds and other animals.

In conclusion, Robin's Plantain is a fascinating and useful plant that has a variety of ecological, culinary, and medicinal uses. Whether you are interested in its role in alternative medicine, its culinary potential, or its importance for wildlife habitat, this plant is definitely worth exploring further. With its hardy nature and attractive appearance, it is also a great choice for anyone looking to add some beauty and functionality to their garden or landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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