Erigeron is a genus of flowering plants in family Asteraceae, compring of about 390 species. North America has the highest species diversity at 173 occurance. Its common names are Fleabane (mostly used) and Summer Starwort. The name Erigeron was derived from Greek ( eri = early; geron = old man), in reference to the appearance of white hairs of the fruits soon after flowering, whilst the common name, Fleabane, was derived from the belief that the dried plants can repelled fleas.
Erigeron species are annual, perennial or biennial. They are characterized by their colorful daisy-like flowers of white, pink and lavender color with a yellow disc centre. Erigeron karvinskianus (wall daisy), 30 x 90cm, has grey-green leaves of up to 4cm long and masses of white flowers with yellow centre. The flowers will age to shades pink or purple. The plants are useful for paving and sunny walls.
Many of the most colorful Erigeron are hybrids. Among them are ''Azurfee' which has semi-double', lavender-blue flowers. 'Dignity' has voilet-blue flowers, 'Dunkelste Aller' has deep purple flowers, whilst 'Prosperity has double, mauve-blue flowers. These colorful flowers are useful in mixed borders, in cottage gardens and in wild gardens. They are borne in long periods in summer, and are good cut flowers.
Erigeron species are food plants for larvae of some Lepidoptera (Butterflies and moths) species, such as Bucculatrix augustata, Coleophora squamosella( which feeds exclusively on E. acris), Schinia intermontana, Schicia obscurata, Schinia sexata (which feeds exclusively on E.glabellus) and Schinia villosa.
Plant Erigeron in sun and well-drained soil. Many of the taller hybrids need staking and deadhead regularly to encourage new flowers. Propagation is by seed or by division in spring. Disease that need to be taken care of is the powdery mildew.