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Erigeron elatior (Daisy)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Subalpine.  Meadows.  Summer.

Erigeron elatior has nodding, woolly, pink-tinged flower buds and flowers with numerous very light lavender ray flowers. The whole plant is quite hairy and buds are especially fluffy looking. The plant tends to grow in clumps making it very eye-catching.  Leaves are usually light green and broader at the base than at the tapering and pointed tip.

Erigerons, what we often call "Daisies", are a large and complex genus with several dozen species common in the Colorado, more than 130 species in western North America, and over 200 species world-wide.  

Erigerons have yellow disk flowers and numerous, narrow ray flowers that are white, pink, or purple (but not yellow).

In 1753 Linnaeus named this genus from the Greek "eri" ("early") + "geron" ("old man", as in "geriatrics"), perhaps referring to characteristics of some now unknown plant or perhaps to the early flowering of many species and to the bristly pappus of the developing seed, or to the puffy, grizzled appearance of the mature seed head.

"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 the plant its present name in 1897. 

 

Erigeron