Arctic alpine fleabane – Erigeron humilis

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The flowers and leaves of Arctic alpine fleabane (Erigeron humilis) in the Alaska Range

Arctic alpine fleabane

Erigeron humilis

Common Names

arctic alpine fleabane
arctic-alpine fleabane
érigéron humble
low fleabane
petite vergerette

Synonyms

Erigeron unalaschkensis (DC.) Vierh.
Erigeron uniflorus var. unalaschkensis (DC.) Ostenf.

Subspecies

none

Genus: Erigeron
Family: Asteraceae
Order: Asterales
full classification

Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – Forb/herb



Identification and Information

Erigeron humilis, commonly known as arctic alpine fleabane or low fleabane, is a perennial herb growing from a short taproot and/or fibrous rhizomes developing from a short caudex. The plant grows in small clumps (caespitose), and it has erect or ascending stems 2-25 cm tall that are hairy. Most of the leaves are basal, and cauline leaves are alternate. The leaf blades are simple, 5-80 mm long, spatulate to spatulate-oblanceolate, and can be hairy or glabrous. The cauline leaves are more linear and much reduced in size distally.

Erigeron humils presents a solitary flower per stem. The flowers have involucral bracts, with the outer bracts being dark purple, 6-9 mm wide, and densely long woolly-hairy. The flower head has ray and disk florets. It has 50-150 ray florets that are 5-6 mm long and white to purplish. Disk florets are 2.4-3 mm long. During fruit fruition, the achenes emerge, marked by a double pappus design—roughly 20-30 bristles outstripping the disk flowers.


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Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No traditional, medicinal, or culinary uses were found.


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Distribution and Habitat

Arctic alpine fleabane is widely distributed across Canada and Alaska, sparsely in the Rocky Mountain States. It’s also found in Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Svalbard, and eastern Siberia.

Its primary habitat is arctic and alpine tundra, moist meadows, pond and stream margins.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
         SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
            DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                  ClassMagnoliopsida 
                     SuperorderAsteranae 
                        OrderAsterales 
                           FamilyAsteraceae (sunflowers, tournesols)
                              GenusErigeron L. (fleabane, vergerettes, daisy)
                                 SpeciesErigeron humilis Graham (arctic alpine fleabane)

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References and Further Reading

Guidebook

none

Classification and Taxonomy

ITIS (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from https://itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=35807#null.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=ERHU.

Uses

none

Map and Distribution

GBIF (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from https://www.gbif.org/species/3146971.

NatureServe (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. NatureServe Explorer. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.132733/Erigeron_humilis.

Description and Information

Flora of North America (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from http://floranorthamerica.org/Erigeron_humilis.

E-Flora BC (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Erigeron%20humilis&redblue=Both&lifeform=7.

Canadian Museum of Nature (n.d.). Erigeron humilis. Retrieved February 18, 2024, from https://nature.ca/aaflora/data/www/aserhu.htm.

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