Asteraceae / Aster
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Most books will list this species as Erigeron canadensis, putting it in the same family as such plants as Eastern Daisy Fleabane, Erigeron annuus. The current official classification is as listed here which is how many botanists have classified it for decades. The name Horseweed may refer to it's size as it can be a tall plant. The term erigeron means 'early aged' and refers to the old or worn out appearance the plant often has by the time it flowers.
Lore: The name Fleabane suggest the plants value as an insecticide or repellent and there may be scientific data to support this.(Dobelis)
Medical Uses: The stem is used even today in herbal medicine. Tannin is the
main component making the plant a diuretic and heamostatic. A tea has been used to treat diarrhea, kidney problems and
respiratory infections. An essential oil distilled from fresh plants (oil of erigeron or oil of fleabane) has been used to expel
intestinal parasites.(Volák &
Stodola). Various other medical uses are listed by various text but are not substantiated by any
science and some references consider this plant together with the Erigerons. Warning: May cause contact
dermatitis in susceptible persons.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves