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Qaqqamiisuut Nunaqait | Fleabane
Qaqqamiisuut Nunaqait | Fleabane


Erigeron spp.
young plants are edible when boiled.
young plants are suitable as a potherb.
the variety in Nunavut is Eastern daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus).
grows in fields, disturbed areas, open woods, thickets and roadsides .
warning: may cause miscarriages and should not be consumed by pregnant women.
warning: may cause dermatitis.

There are three species of fleabanes in Nunavut: dwarf mountain fleabane or cut leaf fleabane (E. compositus), alpine Arctic fleabane (E. humilis), and one-flowered fleabane (E. uniflorus subsp. eriocephalus). The last two species are similar and sometimes grow together in the same environment.

Fleabane has both ground-level and underground vertical stems, and when its leaves die back in the winter, the short stem at ground-level stores food, particularly sugars, in the same way a tree that loses its leaves in the autumn stores food for regrowth the following season. Think of it this way. The plant makes food in the leaves over the summer, and then caches it in the stem over the winter. Growing close to the ground helps keep Arctic plants out of the dry Arctic winds, which tend to suck the moisture out of plants.

Erigeron compositus occurs on northern Baffin Island, some of the High Arctic Islands, and further to the west. E. humilis occurs mostly on Southern Baffin Island, Southampton Island, and the mainland. If you spot a fleabane while up on Ellesmere Island or on Victoria Island, more than likely you are seeing E. uniflorus. Of course there is some overlap, and on the mainland, on Southampton Island, and around Iqaluit, both species occur. These two plants look quite similar, although E. uniflorus is generally a little larger. Also its ray flowers are more purple than white. However, the easiest way to tell them apart is to look at their hairs. E. humilisís hairs have a purple tinge, while E. uniflorusís definitely look white. It is useful to have a hand lens. source

Photo:#00 One-flowered fleabane
Erigeron uniflorus
#01 Nunaraqpait Cut leaf fleabane dwarf mountain fleabane cut leaf daisy Erigeron compositus

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