Native to the mountains of Kazakhstan and Xinjian in central Asia, this clump-forming, herbaceous perennial is a member of the aster family, Asteraceae, that also includes daisy, yarrow, and lettuce. The plant grows 9-12″ tall and produces a rosette of 3-4″ long spoon-shaped leaves and sessile ovate upper leaves. All leaves are mid-green and softly hairy. In summer, slender stalks carry solitary, 1.5-2″ wide, semi-double flowerheads with orange, yellow or dark red ray flowers and yellow disc flowers. The flowerheads open for 6-8 weeks and provide color over a long bloom time. Orange fleabae is a good choice as a/n edging or groundcover and in a rock garden. The genus name, Erigeron, comes from the Greek words ἦρι (êri)  meaning early referring to the early bloom time, and  γέρων (gérōn)  meaning old man, referring to the hairy appearance of the fruit that resembles the beard of an old man.  The specific epithet, aurntiacus, is the new Latin word meaning golden-orange and refers to the flower color.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Orange, yellow or red flowerheads in summer

Size:9-12″ H x 12″ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Deadhead to prolong bloom; cut to the ground in fall

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but susceptible to powderymildew

Propagation: Basal cuttings, division, seed

Companion Plants: Ornamental grass, phlox, evening primrose

Outstanding Selections:

“Copper Elf” (yellowish orange flowers)

var. sulphureus (pale yellow flowers)

Photo Credit: Oron Peri Regel

By Karen