Highlands Biological Station buildings remain closed to visitors with the exception of limited visitor hours for the Nature Center.  HBS Botanical Garden trails remain open, and in accordance with University policy masks and physical distancing are required on the HBS campus.  Highlands Biological Station currently plans to offer academic and public programming in summer 2021, observing University mandated Covid-19 safety protocols.  For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.  Please see the HBS website for full summer 2021 Covid-19 safety policies and procedures, and bear in mind that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this spring. 

Erigeron pulchellus

Erigeron pulchellus, commonly known as “Robin’s plantain” or “Rose” Pretty”, is a Daisy Family member and a widespread plant. The genus Erigeon is also referred to as the “Fleabane” genus.

Being a member of the Asteraceae family, the flowers of E. pulchellus are daisy-like with central pronounced yellow ray flowers and smaller disk flowers on the periphery. The petals are thin and soft pink in color, deepening slightly as the growing season progresses. The flowers themselves emerge in branching clumps, from a basal rosette, in mid-spring lasting for several weeks.

Native sites commonly associated with “Robin’s plantain” include moist slopes, fields, woods, and stream banks. The pillowy flowers often can be seen from your car, dotting the roadsides.

Historically this plant was used by the Cherokee Nation as a means to treat colds, gout and other kidney related ailments.

 

This plant spreads readily in the landscape via stolons and offers an early season forage for bees and other pollinators.