Erigeron compositus Pursh
Small, white or lavender daisy-like flowers above silvery lobed foliage make this a lovely little plant, perfect for rock gardens, troughs, and borders with their early-season blooms. Cutleaf daisy likes disturbed areas and gravelly, even rocky, soil. In those conditions, it self-propagates easily from seed. Some individuals (and populations) lack ray florets*, so the flowers are little yellow buttons. Erigeron pinnatisectus (A. Gray) A. Nelson is a similar lavender-flowered species that has pinnately lobed leaves instead of palmately lobed leaves. It is restricted to the mountains of Colorado and adjacent bits of New Mexico and Wyoming. Showy fleabane, E. speciosus (Lindl.) DC., which is common across much of Wyoming and the west, is a taller species with larger flowers. There are more than 45 species of Erigeron native to Wyoming, many of which would make fine garden plants if grown from wild-collected or purchased seeds.
Water needs: low to moderate
Exposure: full sun to part shade
Availability in nurseries: fairly common
Native range: western North America (WY native)
Plant family: Asteraceae
Photo by Dorothy Tuthill