Showy fleabane, also called aspen or garden fleabane, is a herbaceous perennial native to open woods, prairies, meadows, and roadsides from Alberta and British Columbia, south to the Black Hills, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon. It is a member of the aster family, Asteraceae, that also includes daisies, yarrow, and lettuce. A thick taproot produces a rosette of leaves and multiple flowering stems that are tinged with maroon and bear narrow leaves. The two inch wide flowerheads appear in early and midsummer and consist of numerous blue, purple, or rarely white ray flowers surrounding a mass of yellow disc flowers. Plants are a good choice for the front of a border, as a groundcover, or in a meadow garden. They are important for many beneficial insects including bees. The generic name comes from the Greek words eri meaning early and geron meaning old man referring to early bloom time and hairy nature of the genus. The specific epithet, speciosus, comes from the Latin word meaning showy or beautiful.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: Two inch wide flowerheads consisting of numerous blue, purple, or rarely white ray flowers surrounding a mass of yellow disc flowers in early to midsummer.
Size: 6-20” H x 12-24” W
Light: Full sun; easily shaded out by taller plants.
Soil: Average, medium moist to dry, well drained
Hardiness: Zones 4-7
Care: Low maintenance
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seeds need light but germination rate poor; division
Companion Plants: Sedum, Shasta daisy, Campanula, saxifrage, iceplant, blue fescue