Flower Color: White and yellow, (some pink or purple buds) showy, daisy-like heads on the tips of branches (some plants with more than 50 flower heads), numerous rayflorets (75 to 150 narrowly shaped), quite attractive; pinkish white, purple or lavender; disk flowers dense, bright yellow; fruit is very small cypsela with pappus.
Flowering Season: February, March or April to August or October; blooming seasons variable across wide geographic range.
Elevation: 500 to 8,500 feet (152-2,600 m)
Habitat Preferences: Multiple habitat types, lower and upper deserts, desert scrub to grasslands, pinyon-juniper and pine forests, dry or moist, rocky slopes, mesas, washes, gravel or sandy flats and disturbed areas.
Recorded Range: Spreading Fleabane is found throughout the Western United States, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada. Spreading Fleabane is also found in northern Baja California and throughout most of Mexico in Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo León and Sonora. This species is much more prevalent in the southwestern states.
North America species range map for Spreading Fleabane, Erigeron divergens:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
Click image for full size map
Genus Information: In North America there are 194 species and 194 accepted taxa overall for Erigeron. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 476 accepted species names and a further 583 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 42 species of genus, California has 54 species, Nevada has 35 species, New Mexico has 47 species, Texas has 20 species, Utah has 57 species. Data approximate and subject to revision.
Comments: Spreading Fleabane is one of the more common members of genus Erigeron in central Arizona and a very common early desert bloomer. This species is highly variable in appearance throughout its range and may be misidentified easily. It can readily spread over large open areas in years with abundant rainfall.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Erigeron divergens flowers and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals in search of food, nectar or cover.
Erigeron divergens flowers and plants may be visited by native bees, butterflies and/or insects in search of food, nectar or cover.
Supports Conservation Biological Control: According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate ConservationErigeron divergens is a plant attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon insects. Click here to read about The Xerces Society's Pollinator Conservation Program or visit The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation at xerces.com.
The genus “Erigeron” (Erig'eron:) is from the Greek eri, “early,” and geron, “old man,” thus meaning “old man in the spring,” referring to the fluffy, white seed heads and the early flowering and fruiting of many species.