Guernsey Fleabane - Erigeron sumatrensis

Alternative names
Tall Fleabane, Broad-leaved Fleabane

A tall (to over 1.5 metres) and very conspicuous plant when mature.  Flowers with hairy phyllaries. 

Similar Species

There are 3 very similar Conyza (syn - Erigeron): Canadian, Bilbao's and Argentine Fleabanes.  Separating them is tricky; reference should be made to the key in Stace (4th edition)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Inflorescence is pyramidal, and pappus is yellowish-white.  The phyllaries are greyish green, and hairy; they may be minutely red-tipped (not always).   C bonariensis (Argentine) often has conspicuously red-tipped phyllaries.  Both species have curved marginal hairs on proximal (end closest to leaf-stalk) region of leaves; Canadian and Bilbao's have straight hairs in this region. 

Recording advice

The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


Usually found in areas of well-drained, open and disturbed ground, such as waste land, railway-sides and docks, chiefly around towns. It also occurs as a wool casual.

When to see it

Flowering July to October.

Life History

Annual. Fruit is wind-dispersed.

UK Status

Becoming widespread and increasingly frequent in many parts of Britain.

VC55 Status

A new arrival to our region in 1997, it seems to be increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland. It was not recorded in the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire.


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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map