Asters and Fleabane Daisies

Genera Aster and Erigeron
Aster Family (Asteraceae/Compositae)

There are many species of Aster and Erigeron which may be found in this area. It is very confusing and difficult to tell one from another, and also to distinguish them from some of the other species in the Composite Family. One tip that most of the books seem to agree on is the fact that asters usually have fewer (but larger) ray flowers than do Erigerons. On the Erigerons the ray flowers are often very narrow and numerous -- almost like a fringe.

Another characteristic to look at is the appearance of the bracts on the under side of the flower heads. Asters generally have several rows of these bracts, overlapping like shingles. But Erigerons have only one or two rows.
The members of the Erigeron genus are commonly called "Fleabane Daisies". It was once thought that picking them and bringing them into the house would prevent infestations of fleas.

Some species in these two genera which may be found at Albion Basin are:
Aster engelmannii -- Engelmann Aster
Aster foliaceus -- Leafy Aster
Aster conspicuous -- Showy Aster
Aster perelegans -- Nuttall Aster
Erigeron leiomerus -- Fleabane Daisy
Erigeron speciosus -- Showy Fleabane Daisy
Erigeron eatonii -- Eaton Fleabane Daisy

Some Photos of Other Daisy-like Flowers (??)

Albion Basin
Wasatch Mountains
Salt Lake County, Utah


by Sandra Bray