Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus) is a relatively compact evergreen perennial in the aster family (Compositae/Asteraceae) , that will go deciduous when hit by hard frost. Erigeron is a large genus of 200 or so species that are widely distributed in grasslands and high mountain areas; E. karvinskianus is native from Mexico to Venezuela but grows so well in the Santa Barbara area that it's adopted Santa Barbara Daisy as one of its names. Other names for this hardy bloomer include Mexican Daisy, Dancing Daisy, Latin American Fleabane and Seaside Daisy. Whatever you choose to call it, this beautiful little plant produces cascading mounds of delicate little daisy-like flowers virtually year 'round beginning in early spring. Each small, pink bud develops into a white daisy flower with a large yellow center and very narrow "double" petals. A plant typically spreads out about two feet, lazily reaches maybe eight inches in height, and requires little care aside from a little protection from Davis' intense sun and regular summer watering. It seems to do equally well in partial sun or shade and is said to thrive in abandoned gardens, stone walls, or cracks in the sidewalk. A fairly vigorous grower, it can be invasive, though it doesn't seem to be a problem in our Davis climate and clay soil. Fleabane is one of the best flowers for attracting beneficial wasps as well as bees, butterflies and birds, yet is deer resistant. Propagation is by seed or division.

For a listing of other plants found in Davis, visit our Town Flora.