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Click to read about the Erigeron genus.

Erigeron ursinus

Erigeron ursinus
Erigeron ursinus (Bear River Fleabane)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine.  Meadows, openings, woodlands.  Summer, fall.
Above and left: Sharkstooth Trail, September 1, 2015.

Erigeron ursinus spreads from slender rhizomes giving rise to many plants, sometimes forming almost a sod. In our area this species is typically found in the high montane and subalpine (as shown in these photographs) and in shady, rocky areas the plant may spread with many basal rosettes but not form sods.

Erigeron ursinus grows to 8 inches tall with usually one but up to three flower-heads per stem. Flowers are pink or blue/purple, but in bright sunlight may appear white.

Sereno Watson found this species in 1869 "on the ridge above Bear River Canyon, Uinta Mountains" and D. C. Eaton described and named it in 1871 in the King Report of the U. S. Geological Explorations of the 40th Parallel.

Erigeron ursinus

Erigeron ursinus

Erigeron ursinus (Bear River Fleabane)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine.  Meadows, openings, woodlands.  Summer, fall.
Sharkstooth Trail, September 1, 2015.

Phyllaries are often red/purple tipped, in 2-4 rows (although Welsh indicates that they are nearly equal in length), and may be glabrous (according to Flora of the Four Corners, but not any other flora) to hairy (as shown at left) and, under careful examination with a hand lens, can be seen to be densely minutely glandular.

Sunshine makes the top photograph ray flowers appear white, but the second photograph shows that in the shade I captured a more accurate version of the color.

Erigeron ursinus

Erigeron ursinus (Bear River Fleabane)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane, subalpine, alpine.  Meadows, openings, woodlands.  Summer, fall.
Sharkstooth Trail, September 1, 2015.

Since the plants shown on this page were the first recorded in Montezuma County, I collected one specimen for the Fort Lewis College herbarium. The hole that resulted from my collection shows the buff-colored rhizomes stretching out just below the surface of the ground and the several plants that arose from the rhizomes. Notice the three white tips below and to the left of center; new plants will arise from these.

 

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

Erigeron ursinus

Range map for Erigeron ursinus