Erigeron pulchellus

Robin's Plantain



Back in Stock!  Robin's Plantain blooms earlier and is much shorter than the well-known native weed, Daisy Fleabane that looks similar. Robin's Plantain blooms from mid-spring to early summer for about 2 weeks. After blooming, the flowering stalks die, but the basal leaves remain green. The root system is a crown of fibrous roots that also forms rhizomes or stolons to form small colonies of the plant. Robin's Plantain prefers partial sun with average to dry soil moisture conditions. It tolerates many different kinds of soil including clay, loam, and sand. Typical habitats of Robin's Plantain include open woodlands, savannas, and stream banks. 

Robin's Plantain's small white flowers attract bees, butterflies, and various skippers. The caterpillars of several moths including the Lynx Flower Moth, Obscure Flower Moth, Common Pug, and Wavy-Lined Emerald feed on flowers. The foliage is palatable to mammalian herbivores. 

*This species may be difficult and/or slow to germinate and grow to maturity.

Erigeron pulchellus - Robin's Plantain

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

2 Questions asked on Erigeron pulchellus

This is such a sweet flower. Will it thrive in full sun? Medium moist loamy soil. Can it act as ground cover to suppress weeds? Thank you.
Hi Janis. Robin's Plantain thrives in full sun and will do well in loamy, well-drained soils. It is not quite competitive enough to battle and suppress weeds, though. If the site was exhausted of weed seed in the seed bank, these plants would have a much better time establishing a robust colony that could exclude weeds once these natives are more mature.
I found this in a field in least I think it's Robins plantain. I grabbed a couple of seed heads and threw them in the freezer for 4 months. I am going to try and start indoors. Any special instructions or tips you can give? I think these would be great in the front of my beds,,,,,,Thanks
Great find, Judd! We have found that Robin's Plantain germinates best after about 60 days of cool, moist stratification. The freezer temps may be enough to break the seed dormancy, but if you have enough seeds for an experiment, try spreading half of them across a damp paper towel or coffee filter, place that in a plastic zip-top bag, and put that portion of seed in the refrigerator for 30-60 days. We would generally recommend the full 60 days, but since the seeds were already in the freezer, they may sprout a bit more quickly. Keep us posted!


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Dry, Dry
12 inches
Bloom Time
May, June
Bloom Color
USDA Zones
Catalog Code