Sunday, November 22, 2020

Erigeron karvinskianus – A Mexican (Fleabane) in Bergamo

Erigeron karvinskianus on a wall in San Vigilio, Bergamo.Erigeron karvinskianus on a wall in San Vigilio, Bergamo.
Erigeron karvinskianus on a wall in San Vigilio, Bergamo.

We couldn't resist that title. One common name for Erigeron karvinskianus is Mexican fleabane and when there is a cheap play on words, we go for it.

Before researching the true name for this post, we just called this plant a "daisy" and technically that is correct as it is part of the daisy-family (Asteraceae). More specifically though, it's in the genus Erigeron commonly called fleabane from a belief that dried Erigeron genus plants repelled fleas or that the plants were poisonous to fleas. (A ye olde conspiracy that once had a large following?)

The species epithet karvinskianus honors Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karwin (1780 – 1855), a Bavarian naturalist who was reported to have collected the plant in Mexico, one of it's native distribution areas along with the Central Americas and northern parts of South America.

Where we really notice E. karvinskianus is on walls – as in these photos taken in San Vigilio, Bergamo. This daisy blooms throughout a good part of the year and provides a welcome splash of color with the white of new flowers and the purple of older flowers.

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