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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Eaton's Fleabane - Erigeron eatonii

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SH
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
This species has only been collected once in Montana, several decades ago in Stillwater County. The population where this specimen was collected is likely still extant, but no surveys have been conducted to try and re-locate it.
General Description
Eaton's Fleabane is a taprooted perennial with 5-30 cm tall stems that are purplish and curved at the bases. The tufted basal leaves are three-nerved, pointed at the tip, and tapered gradually to the petiole. The stem leaves are smaller and reduced upwards. The inflorescence is open with 1-7 flower heads. The glandular involucral bracts are 5-7 mm long and distinctly overlapping. The 20-50 rays are usually white and are 5-10 mm long. The yellow disk corollas are 3-5 mm long. There are 15-25 pappus bristles at the top of each achene.

Our plants are variety eatonii.

Flowering in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Because Erigeron is a large and difficult genus a technical key should be consulted. The taprooted habit, three-nerved, narrow basal leaves, reduced stem leaves, and white rays should help distinguish this species from others.

Range Comments
WA to MT south to CA, AZ and CO (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Open areas in the mountains and foothills.

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus bifarius, Bombus centralis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus huntii, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus mixtus, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus occidentalis, and Bombus insularis (Thorp et al. 1983, Wilson et al. 2010, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Koch et al. 2012).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141:39-68.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Wilson, J.S., L.E. Wilson, L.D. Loftis, and T. Griswold. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist 70(2): 198-207.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Aho, Ken Andrew. 2006. Alpine and Cliff Ecosystems in the North-Central Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 343 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Eaton's Fleabane — Erigeron eatonii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from