Also known as the "oak-leaf fleabane" this aster grows from Virginia, south to Florida and west to Louisiana.
This perennial grows to three feet with 3/4-inch flowers in numerous heads. They have many lavender to white rays (or hairs) around a yellow disk. The stems (one or several) are hairy and slender with oak-like leaves. Propagation is by seed.
The common name comes from the belief that dried flowers could rid the home of fleas.
The generic name is from Greek eri ("early") and geron ("old man") which presumably refers to another species that looks more like an early flowering old man.
The southern fleabane flowers from March through September.
This plant is related to a number of other fleabane species. Among them: daisy fleabane (E. annuus) (see photos left and below) with a white around yellow flower; horseweed (E. canadensis) with a smaller flower head; and the common or Philadelphia (E. philadelphious) with white to pink around yellow. All of these are common throughout North America.