Daisy Fleabane: Does It Get Rid of Fleas?

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in flowers, summer, Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

Well, no. Unfortunately this is a classic case of false advertising. This plant, called daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus), is neither a daisy nor the bane of fleas.daisy fleabane

It’s a nice little meadow flower–one of the few native plants that can elbow its way in between more aggressive non-native clovers and daylilies along roads and byways. It isn’t the same as a daisy, and it isn’t an aster, although they’re all related–all those plants with a fringe of white rays around a yellow center are cousins in the enormous Aster family. Regular daisies (ox-eye daisies, as they’re sometimes called) are larger, with flat, wide rays around a big yellow eye. Daisy fleabane is much smaller and daintier.

The name fleabane is applied to a huge variety of plants. It’s really more wishful thinking than truth in this case, though–while there are strongly aromatic plants that are fairly effective at repelling fleas, daisy fleabane is, alas, not one of them.

In fact, its expertise is in attracting insects rather than repelling them. As a native plant, it’s an excellent host for a variety of butterflies and moths, and all sorts of beetles and bugs sip its nectar and munch its leaves.daisy fleabane

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