Fleabane is an Unappreciated Native Wildflower

Fleabane is not a weed

Fleabane is beautiful unappreciated native wildflower that belongs to the family Asteraceae (pronounced aster-A-see-A). Considered by most to be a weed, fleabane is actually a North American native wildflower with over 150 different species. Faintly fragrant, this tall floriferous plant attracts a plethora of insects all summer long and  I absolutely adore it!

Some species of fleabane are a host plant

Some species of fleabane, like Daisy Fleabane are host plants to various moths like the Flower moth. It appears as though the one that grows here isn't a host plant as caterpillars haven't appeared on my plants in all the years that it has grown here. I'm unsure of which species of fleabane that I have growing but I think it's Philadelphia Fleabane.

Letting the wildflowers grow is extremely important for healthy ecosystems, not just for bees, but for birds also. A constant flurry of activity can be found on all fleabane plants throughout my yard. Super tiny bees, butterflies, and other invertebrates, like tiny spiders LOVE this plant. I've noticed increased visiting of birds like wrens in places where this insect attracting plant grows.

I recently learned that chickadees require about 400 caterpillars a day to raise a nest of babies! A swath of wildflowers offers additional food for chickadees and other insect eating birds! Plant it. Admire the life on ---and around it. Love it, like I do! It's a "weed" worth keeping.