Originating in Mexico but, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, now found naturalised, particularly on walls in the South West of England, Erigeron is an amazingly versatile plant, being low-growing, happy in sun or partial shade and thriving in any well-drained soil. It's also tolerant of coastal conditions.
The variety 'Profusion' is aptly named, as the flowers are produced in great profusion from May to November. The daisy-like flowers open white but change to deep pink as they mature, so that at any one time flowers in any shade between will be found on one plant.
This rather superb bushy plant forms a low mound of grey-green leaves and flowers in only three months from seed, with a long flowering period, from May to October.
Try it as an edging plant in a mixed border, alongside paths, in a gravel garden, spilling over walls, or planted in the cracks in paving. The natural trailing habit and their drought tolerance makes them ideal for hanging baskets and containers. They can be planted under trees if enough light is given. Bees and butterflies love all erigeron and they make a wonderful addition to a wildlife garden.
Easy to grow from seed and very rewarding… some folks would find the charming daisy-like blooms to be grand payment for so little work.
Erigeron karvinskianus 'Profusion' has been awarded the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Sowing: Sow in from late February to July or sow indoors in autumn.
Erigeron can be grown as an annual if sown early they will flower the first year. Easily raised from seed, which may be sown indoors or directly where they are to flower. Sow in late February to April for flowering June to August
Sow directly where they are to flower into finely prepared soil. Scatter in the cracks between paving stones or mix with a little clay and press into hollowed mortar joints in walls. The young plants can thinned when they germinate.
Sow very thinly, on the surface of trays, pots, etc containing good seed compost (John Innes or similar, or peat mixed with 10% sand for drainage). Do not cover the seed as they need light to germinate, just lightly press the seeds into the soil. Place in a propagator or warm place to maintain an optimum temperature of 15 to 18°C (59 to 65°F). Germination 14 to 30 days.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, prick off into pots and grow on. Gradually harden off and plant out, once they reach 2 to 3cm tall, from the end of May onwards.
Erigeron are best planted in well-drained soil in full sun but will tolerate most soils in full sun and can tolerate partial shade. Good drainage and plenty of sunshine are essential for plants to survive cold damp winters. Trouble free. Cut back the flowered stems to ground level in early spring. Lift and divide large clumps every second or third year, discarding the woody crowns in March to May
Rockeries, Borders, Baskets, Window boxes and Containers. Ground cover, cracks in paving or scrambling down walls, Gravel Garden, Low Maintenance. Wildlife Gardens
Erigeron is native to South America and Mexico. It is naturalised in many other areas of the world, such as parts of Africa, Europe, New Zealand, and the west coast of the United States.
The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution with the highest species diversity in North America, where 173 species occur.
In 1753 Linnaeus gave the genus its name from the Greek eri meaning 'early' and geron meaning 'old man' (as in 'geriatrics' the study of old age), a reference to the appearance of the white hairs of the fruit soon after flowering.
It now has the species name of karvinskianus, but was formerly known as Erigeron mucronatus.
The name Karvinskianus refers to Baron Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karvin (von Karvin Karvinski) 1780-1855. He was born in Hungary and was a naturalist with interests in geology, botany and particularly in the study of fossils from different periods. To this end he traveled to collect samples and travelled to Brasil in 1821 to 1823 and Mexico in 1827 to 1832 . During his travels he sent back over 4000 plant specimens and several have been named after him, these include cactus, grasses and several others. He collected his sample of Erigeron karvinskianus while he was in Oaxaca Mexico.
The most widely used common name, fleabane, is shared with related plants in several other genera, it is derived from the belief that the dried plants repel fleas. It is also called Mexican or Latin American Fleabane or Santa Barbara daisy from its place of origin.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10mg Average Seed Count 130 seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Erigeron Species karvinskianus Cultivar Profusion Synonym Erigeron mucronatus, Erigeron speciosus Common Name Mexican Daisy, Fleabane Other Common Names Latin American Fleabane, Santa Barbara daisy. Other Language Names IR. Nóinín balla Hardiness Hardy Perennial Hardy Although a Hardy Perennial is also often used as an Annual. Flowers White suffused with pink. Natural Flower Time Flowers in first year - May to October Height 15 to 20cm (6 to 9in) Spread Can grow to 90cm (3ft) wide. Position Full sun to partial shade Soil Prefers a moist, well drained soil.