Daisy Fleabane

 

Other names: lace buttons, sweet scabious, tall white weed, whitetop

Blooming time: May to October

Height: maximum is about 5 ft.

Stems and Leaves: Daisy fleabane has leafy, stiff erect stems that are usually branched towards the top. The stems are slightly ridged and somewhat hairy. There is wide variation among the leaves. Lower leaves may be 6 inches long and 3 inches wide and are more or less oval in shape with coarse marginal teeth. Their petioles have a distinct margin or wing. Upper leaves are narrower, often without petioles, sometimes without marginal teeth. Upper leaves usually have a few bristly hairs on the edges and on the underside .

Flowers and Fruit: The small daisy-like flowers are in clusters on short stalks at the tips of upper branches. Individual flowerheads are about 1/2 inch across and have a yellow disc in the center circled by two or three sets of white rays. These rays, each longer than the diamerter of the center disc, may be tinged with purple. The petals of the daisy fleabane are the same width along the entire length.

Interesting facts: Daisy fleabane got its name from its reputation for repelling fleas during the Middle Ages. The flower heads were dried and placed in a room or near a bed to drive away fleas. A tea of the blossoms was used as an expectorant. An astringent rectal injection for hemorrhoids was brewed from the entire plant. Varieties of daisy fleabane in many colors have been developed for garden use.

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Page last updated March 24, 2015
Text resources:
Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie- The Upper Midwest, Sylvan T. Runkel and Dean M. Roosa;
A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Northeastern and North-central North America, Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny
Photo by Barb McGee - bjmcreations.com