Dwarf Mountain Fleabane
Erigeron compositus Pursh
Collected apparently along the Clearwater River in Idaho, probably 26 Sep-10 Oct 1805. A close examination of the sheet suggests that this is a mixed collection of wild and garden specimens (Pursh stated he saw garden specimens). It is possible the two, centrally positioned fragments in the upper row of four fragments represents authentic Lewis and Clark items. The remaining six fragments on the sheet are possibly garden-grown specimens from seeds. This suggestion is made with considerable caution because in May of 1806 when Lewis and Clark returned to the Clearwater, they may well have found the plant in early leaf with the remains of the previous years flowering heads still attached. If so, they could have obtained both seeds and a series of small specimens. (Source)
Dwarf mountain fleabane is a low, sometimes tufted perennial growing up to 8 inches tall from a thick stem base (caudex). Leaves are crowded at the base of the plant and are several times dissected or lobed towards the tips. Flower heads are about an inch across and solitary on the ends of the stems. Each head has a yellow center composed of many disc flowers and an outside row of 20-60 white or pinkish ray flowers. Fruits are achenes equipped with 12-20 bristles to aid in transport by the wind. It blooms in June or July in dry, sandy or gravelly native rangeland.