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    Erigerons, commonly called "Daisies" or "Fleabanes", are a large and complex genus.  This web site shows more than half of the 48 species in the Four Corners area;  there are 130 species in North America and 200 world-wide.

     Erigerons have yellow disk flowers and numerous narrow ray flowers that are white, pink, or purple (but not yellow).  They grow from the semi-desert to the subalpine regions and although a few are uncommon, most are very common.

      In 1753 Linnaeus gave the genus its name from the Greek "eri" ("early") + "geron" ("old man", as in "geriatrics", the study of old age processes and problems).  Perhaps the Greek name refers to characteristics of some now unknown plant or perhaps it refers to the early flowering of many species and to the bristly pappus of the developing seed, or perhaps to the puffy, grizzled appearance of the mature seed head.

Erigeron elatior

Erigeron elatior (Tall Daisy)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine.  Meadows.  Summer.
El Diente Trail, July 22, 2004 and Pass Creek Trail, July 27, 2009.

Erigeron elatior has nodding, woolly, pink-tinged flower buds

Erigeron elatior

Erigeron elatior

Erigeron elatior

and flowers with numerous very light lavender ray flowers.

Erigeron elatior

The leaves and stems are also hairy but not nearly as hairy as the buds and underside of the flower head. The plant tends to grow in clusters making it very eye-catching.  Leaves are usually light green and broader at the base than at the tapering and pointed tip.

"Elatior" is from the Latin for "tall".  Charles Parry collected this Erigeron in Colorado in 1861 and Asa Gray named it Erigeron grandiflorum variety elatius in 1862.  Edwin Greene gave it its present name in 1897.

Erigeron elatior

Erigeron elatior

Erigeron elatior (Tall Daisy)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine.  Meadows.  Summer.
Pass Creek Trail, July 27, 2009 and Navajo Lake Trail, August, 6, 2014.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Erigeron elatior