Four species* of fleabane can be found along the Potomac River in the Piedmont. They’re all pretty similar looking – terminal clusters of many-rayed (50-100) composite flowers, with yellow discs; the rays can be white, pinkish, or purplish. The plants can be distinguished by leaves – how they’re shaped, whether or not they’re toothed – and by a few other characteristics. They range from a foot tall (Robin’s plantain) to five feet tall (lesser daisy fleabane).
Sadly, I don’t have photos to illustrate all this. Maybe next year I’ll get some. Mostly I just wanted an excuse to publish the above photo, because I really like it.
*Erigeron annuus, E. philadelphicus, E. pulchellus, E. strigosus