Weeds of Wednesday: Oakleaf fleabane

Butterfly larval plant, Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Weed, Weeds of Wednesday, Wildflower

Tiny, 1/4″ daises graced a profusion of oak leaf fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius) plants at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR) when we field-tripped there on March 11, 2018. Also known as southern fleabane, this native annual wildflower — or, depending on your point of view, weed — frequents a variety of open and disturbed sites including roadsides and the mowed edges of the paved trail at the the Viewing Platform at PINWR …

Often over time, oak leaf fleabane forms large masses …

Its basal leaves are held in rosettes, usually about 6″ across, and are lobed like some oaks. Its species name, quercifolius, means “foliage like an oak”.

Its leaves are yellow-green and rough to the touch. Its tiny flowers are held on tall stalks that are covered with silken hairs as they emerge. Butterflies, like the great southern white butterfly (Ascia monuste) shown below, and a profusion of small pollinators visit these sweet, small flowers …

You also can frequently see this wonderful wildflower — or weed — growing along Oslo Road at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.