Erigeron

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Erigeron

 

(fleabane), a genus of plants of the family Compositae. They are perennial and, less commonly, annual or biennial grasses or subshrubs. The leaves are entire and alternate. The inflorescences are heads that are solitary at the ends of unbranched stems or are gathered into a raceme, corymb, or panicle. The ray flowers have narrow, often threadlike ligules and form two or more series. The achenes have a sessile pappus of one or two rows of brittle bristles.

There are more than 200 species of Erigeron, distributed on all continents; they are most diverse in North America. In the USSR there are more than 70 species, including the common weeds Erigeron acer and E. canadensis. These two species, which are native to North America, contain essential oils. Certain varieties of Erigeron contain tanning substances in their stems and leaves. Many species are ornamentals; hybrid perennials, such as E. speciosus, E. aurantiacus, and E. macranthus, are raised by florists as tall ornamentals. Short varieties are grown in rock gardens.