Canadian Fleabane - Erigeron canadensis


Short to tall hairy plant to 1.5 metres, leaves alternate, narrow, oblong, and the lower often deciduous before flowering. Flowers 2 to 5 mm with white ray florets scarcely longer than the yellow disk florets, borne in branched clusters. The phyllaries are more or less hairless in this species unlike the similar Guernsey Fleabane which has hairy phyllaries.

Similar Species

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

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Phyllaries yellowish-green; more or less glabrous and with a 4-(5)-lobed corolla. Inflorescence is cylindrical. Outer flowers have ligules overtopping phyllaries.  Hairs on proximal part of leaf-margin (closest to leaf-stalk) are more or less straight; curved on rest of margin.

The very similar Bilbao's fleabane (C floribunda) has 5-lobed corollae, and ligules of outer flowers scarcely overtopping phyllaries; the inflorescence is narrow but widens above.  It has been recorded in VC55.

Recording advice

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


Cultivated and waste places, walls. Often in built up areas.

When to see it

July to September.

Life History


UK Status

Only common in England, scarcer elsewhere in Britain.

VC55 Status

Fairly common and probably increasing in built up areas of Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 36 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map