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Manitoba Museum

Aster (Asteraceae)

Smooth Fleabane

Erigeron glabellus Nutt. Nutt.

This attractive prairie plant is a biennial or a short-lived perennial. Although its flowers are not fragrant, they attract bees, flies, butterflies, and songbirds. Flowering heads consist of white ray and yellow disc flowers, and have a longer bloom time than most other fleabanes. They make a nice addition to woodland or prairie gardens.

Flower Colour:

  • Purple

Flowering Season:

  • Summer

Flowering Months:

  • August
  • July

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “sensitive” in the Yukon and “may be at risk” in Ontario.

Physical Appearance:

This plant’s erect, hairy stems grow up to 50 cm tall. Its hairy basal leaves have winged stalks, and are oblong with pointy tips. Stem leaves are similar, but sessile and linear to bract-like up the stem. The 1-6 flowering heads occur on long stalks. Each one consists of numerous light purple ray florets surrounding yellow disc florets. Fruits are hairy achenes with a tuft of hair-like bristles.

Similar Species:

Daisy Fleabane, Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus L.), Tufted Fleabane (Erigeron caespitosus Nutt.)

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants may be available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Forests
  • Prairies
  • Streambanks

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade

Soil Preference:

  • Loam
  • Sand
Smooth Fleabane