Spring wildflowers are starting to pop up all over the place, and one that keeps catching my eye along roadsides and here in My Florida Backyard is this cheerful little bloom that looks like a cross between a daisy and an aster:
I turned to my Wildflowers of Florida Field Guide and found this wildflower on pages 196-197. It's Oakleaf Fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius), also sometimes called Southern Fleabane. It's in the aster family (Asteraceae), and is one of eight species of fleabane native to Florida. It flowers from March through September in Central Florida, so the appearance of these blooms is right on time.
There are hundreds of kinds of fleabane around the world. Its name comes from the supposed ability of this plant to repel fleas, and the plant was used in herbal medicine in the past to treat dysentery, among other things. While we don't plan to use it for illness, we're glad to have this happy little flower helping us welcome spring in My Florida Backyard.