Fleabanes are members of the daisy family that closely resemble asters. Their common name is a salute to the belief that they once controlled the ravages of fleas. The genus name is from the Greek and means "an early old man," probably referring to the early flowering and fruiting of some species.Description of fleabane: Fleabanes have narrow leaves that are smooth above and woolly underneath. The flowers are densely fringed in clusters on 18-inch stems. Ease of care: Easy.

Growing fleabane: Fleabanes prefer good, well-drained garden soil in full sun. They prefer slight shade in areas of hot summers.

Propagating fleabane: By division in early spring, by cuttings, or by seed.

Uses for fleabane: Fleabanes are excellent in the rock garden, the formal bed or border, and the wild garden. Plant them in drifts as the flowers look best when more than one plant is used. They are excellent as cut flowers.

Fleabane related species: Erigeron speciosus Azure Fairy has semi-double, lavender flowers on 30-inch stems.

Fleabane related varieties: Foerster's Liebling has double, pink flowers. Double Beauty bears double, violet-blue flowers. Prosperity has semi-double, mauve-blue flowers.

Scientific name of fleabane: Erigeron hybridus

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