[Daisies and Fleabanes: The Genus Erigeron in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane

Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion fleabane from the Horsethief Butte Trail.........April 24, 2006.

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermusThe photo at right shows another view of the form of cushion fleabane as seen at Horsethief Butte........April 24, 2006.


Characteristics:

Cushion fleabane is a spring blooming perennial wildflower that is a low cushion plant to 15 cm high. Plants are covered with numerous spreading hairs mixed with some glands in variety poliospermus, or more glandular in variety cereus. The basal leaves are linear-oblanceolate to spatulate, and somewhat hairy. They measure up to 8 cm long and 12 mm wide. Any stem leaves that are present are slightly to strongly reduced in size.

The flower heads are solitary on stems which are barely longer than the leaves. Each head has up to 15-45 pink to violet ray flowers surrounding a yellow central disk which is generally less than 20 mm in diameter. The rays are each 5-14 mm long and 1.3-3.6 mm wide. The involucre ranges from 5-9 mm tall and covered by numerous spreading hairs.


Habitat:

Dry open habitats in the lowlands east of the Cascade Mts. Cushion fleabane is frequently found near sagebrush.


Range:

Cushion fleabane is found east of the Cascade Mountains from south-central British Columbia through central Washington into Idaho and central Oregon.

In the Columbia River Gorge, cushion fleabane is found between Dallesport, WA and Horsethief Butte State Park between the elevations of 200'-400'.


Flower head of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion fleabane, Horsethief Butte Trail........April 24, 2006.

Flower heads (with canary yellow rays) of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Hairy stem of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Leaves of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Flower head (with canary yellow rays) of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Involucral bracts of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Flower head (with cream-colored rays) of Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Additional close-ups of cushion fleabane as seen along Sixprong Road between Alderdale Road and the Roosevelt Grade Road in eastern Klickitat County.........April 25, 2010. A few lavender-rayed cushion fleabanes can be seen around this location in south-central Washington, but the majority have white or cream-colored rays. Note here that several plants (photographed about 3 miles west of Alderdale Road) have canary-yellow rays which are the first this author has ever seen for this species.

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion fleabane as seen at left on rocky hillsides above the Crawford Oaks trailhead, Columbia Hills State Park..........April 14, 2013. The photo at right shows cushion fleabane on grassy slopes above Washington Highway 14 about one mile east of Roosevelt, WA......May 2, 2019..

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion fleabane growing at left atop basalt outcrops near Washington Highway SR 14 at MP 115.5 in the eastern Columbia River Gorge........April 18, 2010. The photo at right shows cushion fleabane blooming along Washington Highway 14 about one mile east of Roosevelt, Washington.........May 3, 2012.

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

A basal leaf cushion of cushion fleabane observed above the Crawford Oaks trailhead, Columbia Hills Historical State Park......February 24, 2021.

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion fleabane blooming on gravel and ash roadcuts along Washington Highway 14 near MP 142........May 11, 2011.

Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus - Cushion Fleabane, Hairy-seeded Daisy, Kittitas Fleabane, Purple Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus var. poliospermus

Cushion fleabane in bloom near the top of the waterfall on Eightmile Creek above the Crawford Oaks trailhead, Columbia Hills Historical State Park.......April 9, 2018.

Paul Slichter