Asteraceae-Erigeron2017-08-16T09:50:21+00:00

   Asteraceae: Sunflower Family – Astereae Tribe: Erigeron et al

The Sunflower family is a very large family with over 25,000 members.  Botanists subdivide the family into a number of tribes of which 14 are represented in Monterey County, one of these, the Heliantheae or Sunflower tribe, being further broken down into subtribes of which 9 are represented in Monterey  County. The Astereae (Aster tribe) includes a diverse range of  plants some of which have clearly daisy-like flowers and others, even though sometimes sharing the same genus, which do not.

Pacific Gumplant – Grindelia stricta var. platyphylla

Blooms:

June–Sept

Plant Height:

10–100 cm

Flower Size:

Large

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Coastal dunes & bluffs

Notes:

Common, sometimes found in extensive patches. 20–60 ray flowers, 12–20 mm long. The most characteristic feature of this species is the white gummy substance exuded from the flower head during the early stages of blooming. Leaf-like bracts often subtend the flower head.

Seaside Daisy – Erigeron glaucus

Blooms:

Apr–Oct

Plant Height:

5–30 cm

Flower Size:

Large

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Coastal Dunes & bluffs

Notes:

Common. Variable in color from pure white to lavender. Very large number of ray flowers (80–165) and disk flowers. Leaves are fleshy and spoon-shaped to ovate. Occasionally found clinging to near-vertical cliffs.

Leafy Fleabane – Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus

Blooms:

May–Aug

Plant Height:

20–100 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Open grassland, chaparral & woodland

Notes:

Comparatively small flowers; ray flowers being up to 11 m long and often slightly folded back from the protruding disk flowers (though the immature flowers are the reverse, with a characteristic fringe of erect, undeveloped ray flowers). Leaves can be thin and threadlike or wide and flat and are spread evenly up the stem. Sometimes known as Leafy Daisy

English Daisy – Bellis perennis

Blooms:

Dec–Sept

Plant Height:

< 10 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Europe

Habitat:

Damp grassy places

Notes:

The classic lawn daisy – loathed by greenkeepers and lawn-lovers everywhere but very pretty despite this.

Santa Barbara Daisy – Erigeron karvinskianus

Blooms:

Apr–Aug

Plant Height:

50–100 cm

Flower Size:

Medium

Origin:

Mexico

Habitat:

Various – garden escape

Notes:

Commonly cultivated and occasionally escaping.  This has flowers similar to those of the English Daisy but a little larger and with many more, slender phyllaries. Leaves are 1–5 cm long, the lower 3-toothed or -lobed. The plant forms mounds and spreads readily.

Horseweed – Erigeron canadensis

Blooms:

All year

Plant Height:

1–20 dm

Flower Size:

Very small

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Disturbed places

Notes:

Very common and a California native despite the scientific name. It has upright stems with many narrow leaves and tiny, inconspicuous flowers. The ray flowers are white and very short, (0.3–1 mm). Its shape is more distinctive than the flowers.  Fruits are spherical with 2–3 mm long pappus radiating in every direction, somewhat reminiscent of a dandelion’s seedhead.

Flax-leaved Horseweed – Erigeron bonariensis

Blooms:

All year

Plant Height:

1–10 dm

Flower Size:

Very small

Origin:

South America

Habitat:

Disturbed places

Notes:

A close relative of Horseweed (Erigeron canadensis), though noticeably shorter and with rough hairy leaves. The shape of the flower heads is also similar to those of Horseweed although ray flowers are either wholly lacking or so small as to be virtually invisible. The central stem is often overtopped by the uppermost branches, Tropical Horseweed (Erigeron sumatrensis) (photo on far right) is similar but taller with green foliage and stems extending beyond the branches.  Sometimes known as South American Conyza — bonariensis signifying that it comes from Buenos Aires and Conyza being the name of the genus before the plants were included with the other Erigeron.