E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Erigeron acris L.
bitter fleabane
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #79394)

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Distribution of Erigeron acris
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Erigeron acris var. kamtschaticus

Species Information

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Biennial or perennial herb; stems erect, solitary to several, branched above, often spreading stiff-hairy, 20-80 cm tall.
Basal leaves oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, stalked, usually entire, 1-15 cm long, 1-14 mm wide; stem leaves ample or strongly reduced, egg-shaped to linear-oblong, becoming unstalked, usually entire.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, several to numerous on nonglandular to glandular stalks in a flat- or round-topped inflorescence; involucres 5-12 mm tall; involucral bracts lanceolate, finely glandular and/or stiff-hairy, generally subequal, green or more or less purplish; ray flowers numerous, although sometimes inconspicuous, in several series, of two types, the outer with a long threadlike tube and narrow pink to purplish or white erect ray flowers, these about 2.5-4.5 mm long, the inner female flowers rayless or nearly so with a tubular corolla; disk flowers 4.2-6.2 mm long, tubular.
Achenes sparsely hairy, 2-nerved; pappus of about 25-35 slender, remotely finely-barbed, white or more or less reddish bristles, surpassing the disk flowers.
Three varieties occur in BC.

1. Stalks of the heads and involucres glandless, or nearly so............... var. elatus (Hook.) Newsom

1. Stalks of the heads and involucres more or less glandular.

2. Plants usually 30-80 cm tall; heads several to numerous............... var. asteroides (Andrz. ex Bess.) Newsom

2. Plants usually 2-30 cm tall; heads several or solitary............... var. debilis (A. Gray) Newsom

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wetlands in the montane and subalpine zones (var. elatus), mesic meadows and forest openings in the montane zone (var. asteroides), and moist meadows in the subalpine and alpine zones (var. debilis); all frequent throughout BC; var. asteroides - circumpolar, N to AK and S to OR and UT; Eurasia; var. debilis - N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB and S to UT and CA; var. elatus - N to AK, YT and NT and E to NF.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Erigeron acris

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 670 1060 1589
Slope Gradient (%) 0 14 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
18 184 295
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(1), IDF(2), MS(1), PP(3), SWB(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Trimorpha acris (L.) Newsom

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References