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fleabane, any plant of the genus Erigeron, widely distributed herbs of the family Asteraceae (aster family), especially abundant in temperate and mountainous regions of North America. The flowers, ranging from white to pink and purple, resemble daisies or asters, hence many of the common names, e.g., the daisy fleabanes (E. ramosus, strigosus, and sometimes other species), widespread weeds, and the beach aster, or seaside daisy (E. glaucus), of the Pacific coast. The eastern E. pulchellus is called robin's-plantain. Other similar composites are sometimes also called fleabane. Fleabane is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Pulicaria), a genus of plants of the family Compositae. The plants are annual or perennial herbs. The anthodia are gathered in racemose or peltate clusters. There are approximately 50 species in Europe, Asia, and Africa, primarily in the Mediterranean countries. In the USSR there are five species. Fleabane (Pulicaria prostrata) grows in moist meadows, along the banks of rivers and lakes, in ditches, in irrigation ditches, and along roads. It is a folk remedy used for intestinal disturbances and as a remedy against fleas (hence the name). P. odora is cultivated as a vegetable.

Sometimes the name “fleabane” also refers to flea plantain (Plantago psyllium), the seeds of which are called flea seeds.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.