Fleabane on the Alvar at Singing Sands

Fleabane

Fleabane growing on the alvar at Singing Sands, Bruce Peninsula National Park, June 2013

While I was on the Bruce Peninsula, I saw many patches of lovely pink/white and yellow flowering Fleabane.  The flowers are 1/2 – 1″ wide on a plant 6 – 36″ high. Fleabane is in the aster family.  It got its name from the belief that the dried flower heads would get rid of fleas, according to the Audubon Field Guide to Wildflowers.  This particular type is, I believe, Philadelphia Fleabane, Erigeron philadelphicus.  A similar plant called Robin’s Plantain, Erigeron pulchellus seems to have fewer white/pink ray petals.  If I’ve gotten this wrong, do let me know.

These shown above are at Singing Sands, on the alvar, the pitted rocks.  I learned that alvars only exist in Estonia, Sweden and the Great Lakes Basin.  Water from rain or melting snow collects in the rocks’ small depressions along with silt and sand.  These provide growing places for plants that are able to live in harsh conditions.

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