Erigeron is a simple, small summer flowering herbaceous perennial.
It is often overlooked because the flowers are small, and perhaps because of its unflattering common name, Fleabane. Which is a shame because it is reliable, easy to grow, ideal for front of the border, rockeries, crevices, and it flowers for a long time with multiple flowers.
Illustrated right and left above is the most commonly sold and grown variety, Erigeron karvinskianus, which looks lovely once it gets established and spreads. There are many species of Erigeron, but by far the most widely available and grown is E. karvinskianus.
The flowers open white and become pink with age and each plant will have many flowers which are replaced over a long, summer flowering period.
Erigeron grows best in a sunny position, and although the advice often received is to plant it in well-drained soil which does not dry out, in fact Erigeron is tough and will grow in many garden areas including steps and in wall crevices. It will grow to a maximum height of .5m, suitable for all soil types and fully hardy. It is a self seeder, although not invasive, and is tolerant of partial shade.
Erigeron is suitable for coastal gardens, and there is a variety called Erigeron Glaucus, whose common name is seaside fleabane, beach aster, or seaside daisy illustrated in the centre image which, as the name suggests, is ideal for seaside gardens.
Once established, E. karvinskianus returns reliably each year and flowers profusely. Ideal for the front of a border, in a garden wall or rocker and as shown above, can be ideal to cover old steps or to soften a paved area. It has the RHS award of garden merit a good indicator of a reliable garden plant.