Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Fleabane And Me

My life in appalachia me and fleabane

Fleabane is one of the many daisy like wildflowers that grow in Appalachia. Folklore says the name, fleabane, came about because the plant is a natural repellent for fleas; and people used to add fleabane to their bedticks for that very reason.

I’m glad I don’t have fleas in my bed and I’m glad I have an orange pair of flip-flops that try their best to show up in all my photos.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    June 13, 2013 at 7:32 am

    We use tansy in our bed – I dry it and half-fill an old pillowcase with it. Keeps the fleas away. Also hang it in the closet to keep out moths.

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    June 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    There’s a field of it across the street from us. I had no idea that’s what it was. We don’t have fleas either, but they might be good to put a bunch of them in the doghouse to help him out. We use cedar chips and frequent baths now though, and that works pretty well for him. I wonder if these’d work on gnats, cause we have whole herds of those pesky things about, and they drive the poor dog nutz.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Until I read the comment of Shirla,
    I thought those were daisies too.
    Just didn’t think there were that
    many white petals to pull off.
    Fleabane is one flower I didn’t
    know about.
    At least the little critters can
    see you coming in them orange flip-

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 10, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I love your picture of the fleabane…I do think it was meant for the orange flip flops to be in the frame. It added just the right touch to break the colors of the green, yellow and white….In fact I didn’t recognise the flip flops as flip flops….
    Starting from the top left of your photo, the brownish color into the curve of the white/yellow fleabane to ending of the reddish orange flip flop makes a nice composition..and the large greens leaves hold your eye in the picture….Just my opionion!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 10, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Just yesterday we passed a beautiful meadow, with lots and lots of fleabane blooming. It just rolled of pretty wildflowers. I thought I would love to walk across that meadow as I was staring out the car window! Maybe singing like “what’s her name” the hills are alive, tra, la, la, etc. etc. holding my apron and turning and skipping thru the beautiful grassy meadow!
    Then the better half went around a sharp curve, scared me to death and I came out of my daydream!
    I am thinking about buying a straight run of guineas to help quell the “tick boogers”. We hate to do it but we had to sprinkle the yard with the tick and flea stuff. It helped until it rained.
    We have so many varmits roaming around it is about useless to fight these ticks, fleas, other bugs so I think a constant natural defence will work better. I keep mosquito guard in the small pond plus the goldfish help there, except the raccoons got a couple of my big ones! Doggoone it there is nothing cuter than baby goldfish, we have had a few!
    By the way we had a run on baby toads the other day. I hope a bunch of them make it. I love my frogs and toads…They were everywhere, garden, yard next to the house! I noticed more birds in the yard, like Thrashers, they seem to love it when the little half inch critters start moving around. Gotta get!
    Great post…

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I have not heard of fleabane. If it repels not only fleas as mentioned by a reader, I could certainly use it. I don’t like it when chiggers get my legs and arms. Sulphur as mentioned might be an interesting reasearch. Thanks for the info.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    June 10, 2013 at 10:35 am

    I love daily fleabane! It is one of my favorite dyeplants for dyeing wool and wool yarn a beautiful sunshine yellow!
    BTW, I LOVE your orange flipflops!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    June 10, 2013 at 10:18 am

    HEY QUINN: About those mosquito problems. You may just have a ‘low’ spot somewhere nearby in which rain water does not run off and just stands for a few days. We have this problem near our back deck so we just bring on the spray – which I don’t like – but it works!
    Eva Nell
    Oak Ridge, TN

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Powdered Sulfur!! I’ve never tried fleabane, but I keep powdered sulfur around. Anytime I work in the garden or go walking along the creek or up the hill I grab my sulfur sock, tap it where ever clothing fits tightly to repel chiggers and over most of the rest of my skin to discourage fleas, ticks, spiders, and all the other creepy crawlies that abound here. Unfortunately, it doesn’t repel mosquitoes which are also abundant here in spite of the drought (I think they reproduce in the mud in the hidden seeps – grrr – )
    Powdered sulfur is available at many drug stores. Used to be mainly found in independents but I’ve found it in some of the big chains lately. I put about a cupful in a lonely only sock, tie a knot in the end, and keep it in a zip lock baggie until I need. I tell my granddaughters that it is a special kind of elfin magic (“glitter” is “fairy dust”, ~of course~) to help protect them from “no-see-ums” when they are outside.
    Word of caution – although I do sometimes put a little in my hat (very little) – don’t get it in your eyes! Very irritating and painful!
    I asked a pharmacist if persons with sulfa allergies could use it and although he wasn’t 100% sure he thought it would be O.K. If you have that concern you should check with your pharmacist and/or doctor.
    Hope this helps reduce the itchies after your outdoor adventures.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

    They look like daisies to me. I’m sure I have seen fleabane and didn’t know the difference. They are one of my favorite flowers.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Need to cultivate an acre of this at my house pronto — fleas are awful here.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 10, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I have heard of fleabane and have seen those daisy looking flowers in the picture but never would I have connected the two.
    Is there a tickbane plant? I seem to bring in a crop of ticks every time I go outside. Saturday I sprayed myself with OFF when I went out. Pulled off all my clothes and took a long soapy shower when I came back in. I found two on me in the shower and one more on my back after I dried off and had the towel wrapped around me.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 10, 2013 at 7:31 am

    We were familiar with fleabane in Choestoe. I do not recall, specifically, if we intermingled it with the freshly-threshed wheat straw we fiilled our cleanly-washed bedticks with after Grandpa Collins’s threshing machine made its round to our farm (as it had to others in the community) to thresh the grain. Gold is the color I remember; the gold of the sun shining on the threshed straw, and gold as we stuffed the ticks; then golden sleep for tired bodies at the end of a long day of work. I was very young then–for after awhile those “straw ticks” and “feather beds” were traded for store-bought mattresses. But I am grateful for fond memories of some of our old ways of the mountains, and how we “made-do” with the blessings we enjoyed–even if the blessings came laced with hard labor.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 10, 2013 at 7:29 am

    LOL! God bless the flip flops, they gave me a laugh first thing this morning.
    I’ve never heard the name fleabane though I’ve seen those sweet little flowers all my life.
    Fleabane would be a good wild plant for me to encourage…..since I have cats!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 10, 2013 at 7:28 am

    They are pretty flowers though.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Do you know of a plant called mosquito bane? My fingers are crossed, because if it exists I need about an acre of it. And I need to weave it into cloth and sew an outfit from it.
    Darned skeeters.

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