Erigeron sumatrensis Retz.

Tall Fleabane

Obs. Bot. 5: 28 (1788) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Pale green or yellowish-green annual to c. 2 m high; stem striate, sometimes reddish towards the base, mostly unbranched between base and inflorescence, hispid to hirsute or pilose with coarse hairs. Leaves usually finely strigose to hispid; lower leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, 4–11(–15) cm long, 5–15(–35) mm wide, shallowly and distantly serrate in the upper part; upper leaves oblanceolate to narrow-elliptic or linear, 3–6 cm long, 2–10 mm wide, mostly entire. Capitula numerous in a pyramidal panicle; involucres campanulate, 4–5 mm long; bracts hispid, the inner brown on the inner face (margins pale) at maturity; receptacles 1.5–2(–2.5) mm diam., usually rough with irregularly raised margins of shallow pits. Outer florets with a minute irregularly toothed whitish or purplish limb. Cypselas elliptic-oblong, c. 1–1.4 mm long, c. 0.5 mm wide, pale brownish; pappus bristles straw-coloured, c. 4 mm long. Flowers mostly summer and autumn.

*CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MonT, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *RobP, *SnM, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, LHI, NI, ACT, Tas. Native to North America. A widespread weed of wasteland, cultivation and disturbed areas, common on roadsides.

Previously often confused with Erigeron bonariensis but usually readily distinguishable by the characters given in the key. Erigeron sumatrensis is usually a more robust plant, paler green in colour with broader leaves, and rougher receptacle. Stem leaves of E. bonariensis are often noticeably narrower and c. linear. However, occasional specimens are difficult to place in either species with confidence.

Created by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2015-12-03
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-03-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Asterales
family Asteraceae
genus Erigeron
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Erigeron sumatrensis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Erigeron sumatrensis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present introduced
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Monaro Tablelands present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised
Snowy Mountains present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory