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Erigeron pulchellus close up

Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus 'Lynnhaven Carpet' (Robin's Plantain cultivar)

May 11, 2020

In the wild, Robin’s plantain (Erigeron pulchellus) is found over much of eastern North America. Often seen in rocky, wooded places, it is equally at home in fields and roadsides. Its small, daisy-like flowers are mostly white. This selection, ‘Lynnhaven’, has a dense coating of tiny hairs over the foliage, giving the plant a slightly gray appearance and the flowers, which are opening now on tall fuzzy stalks, are larger and have a slight hint of lilac.

Erigeron pulchellus flower May 2020

Completely happy in poor and dry soils, it can also tolerate full sun or part shade and moist conditions.

Erigeron pulchellus leaves

It spreads by underground stolons (shoot-like roots) and quickly forms a weed-suppressing thick mat—a far more attractive ground cover than a load of mulch!

Erigeron pulchellus setting 4 May 2020

There are some large patches of this excellent, native ground cover plant under the linden tree in front of Wave Hill House.

Erigeron pulchellus setting

The work of Wave Hill’s recently retired Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter Charles Day, this post dates back almost exactly a year to May 9, 2019. Charlie’s elegant, informative writing has a perennial quality, and we are delighted to be able to showcase his knowledge this spring with some new photos.