A long-lived plant – excellent for dry – low fertility soils.
This wildflower is extremely widespread across the western U.S., but has patchy distribution in the Northwest, typically found on mountain slopes, as well as the Columbia gorge, some coastal bluffs in Oregon, the San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, Olympic peninsula, and parts of southern Puget Sound.
While the name refers to the ancient belief that plants in this genus repelled insects, it is at least attractive to many late summer pollinators such as leafcutter bees and syrphid flies – and it’s a host plant for the schinia villosa moth. The aster-like flowers are very long lasting and arise from a clumping woody base.
This beautiful plant is the largest and showiest of fleabanes, and is excellently adapted to rocky or gravel soils. It tolerates some partial shade, it’s very drought resistant, and manages to stay a compact 1 to 2 feet in height most of the time. This is a perfect plant for dry south facing slopes, or parched flower beds on the sunny side of a house.