At first glance this popular front-of-the-border plant can be mistaken for a small Michaelmas Daisy. The petals, however, are more numerous and it blooms earlier. The disc is always yellow and the flowers are single or semi-double. Erigeron is easy to grow – provide some support for the stems and dead-head faded blooms. Take some of the flowers indoors for arranging and in the autumn cut the stems down to ground level.

VARIETIES: Fleabanes have been grown in cottage gardens for hundreds of years. Several types were grown and the most widely planted was the purple narrow-petalled E. speciosus. The blooms of this species tend to droop and these days hybrids of E. speciosus have taken over – the flowers are larger, brighter and hold their heads up. The basic details of the varieties are height 1-2 ft. Spacing 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-August. Typical hybrids are ‘Prosperity’ (light blue), ‘Foerster’s Liebling’ (pink), ‘Darkest of All’ (violet) and ‘Dignity’ (lilac).

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do -thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in spring.

E. ‘Foersters Liebling’

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