Showy fleabane (aka showy, aspen or splendid fleabane/daisy) is indeed, quite splendid. Its flowers are abundant, deep purple, with an impressively long bloom time; adding a full season of dramatic flare and attracting butterflies and pollinators to your meadowscape or perennial beds. By autumn, the leaves become spaces and turn red and purple, and flowers mature into fluffy white seed heads.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant/ground layer - though can become quite tall, with an almost shrubby form
- Size at maturity: 0-4' high, 1-3' wide
- Light requirements: full sun, part sun / part shade, full shade
- Moisture requirements: moist to dry, well-drained soil
- Bloom Time: June - September
- Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate, easy to grow
- Wildlife support: adult butterflies/nectar source, bees and other insect pollinators, beneficial insects/pest eating insects, caterpillar host plant/larval food source (Oregon Flora Project)
- Native habitat/range: Found in conifer forests, moist slopes, riverbanks, wet meadows typically at higher altitudes, 50 – 2500 meters. In Oregon, it is most commonly found in the Willamette Valley, Central Oregon and the Blue/Wallowa Mountains, but it’s also found north in parts of WA, British Columbia and Alberta, east to ID, NV, NE, and southeast to NM. Portland Plant List - no.
- Special features & uses: pollinator gardens and wildflower meadows
Gardening with Showy Daisy: This plant is a treat to garden with, as it's both versatile and beautiful. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and part to full sun and will perform best in this condition - putting on a magnificent show of blooms all summer long, especially if you take a little time to cut back early blooms before they go to seed. That said, it will also tolerate some dryness and shade - so experiment with where this plant fits best in your garden.
Photo Credit 1: "06292013 139a Splendid Fleabane - Erigeron speciosus" by Laurel Parshall is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Photo Credit 2: "Erigeron speciosus" by aspidoscelis is marked with CC0 1.0
Photo Credit 3: "Butterfly on Erigeron speciosus Cedar Breaks" by brewbooks is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0Photo Credit 4: "Erigeron speciosus - aspen fleabane" by Matt Lavin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0