"What's in a name?” wondered Juliet, in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of star-crossed lovers. Indeed. Names carry in them identity, even respect. But would we take the time to look if the plant in question was small, usually referred to as a weed, and bore the rather off-putting name “fleabane?” That’s what the lovely little wildflower in the photo is—fleabane. More specifically, Erigeron annuus, which those of us who prefer to use names we can pronounce know as Daisy Fleabane, Sweet Scabious, or Lace Buttons. The plant in the picture is currently blooming in a tangled corner of my side yard. The largest flower head shown is barely a half-inch across. Fleabanes are composites, members of the Asteraceae (Aster) family. According to some texts, the Genus name, “Erigeron,” stems from the Greek words meaning "early" and "old man," which allude to the plant's tendency to blossom in late spring and to form fuzzy white seed heads while still producing new flowers. The Species name, “annuus,” indicates it blooms annually. In the old days, folks believed you could dry the flowers, crush them into a fine powder, and sprinkle the powder about on bedding and such to repel fleas. Some writers say it was smoke from burning the powder that did the repelling. Neither method seems to stand the test of scientific scrutiny. “That which we call a rose,” fair Juliet went on to say, “by any other name would smell as sweet." Also true. Except fragrance often catches us unaware. But to truly see a plant, you must first look—and the diminutive fleabane is regularly overlooked, or given a cursory glance and relegated to immediate ignoring if perceived as a weed…not to mention forthcoming death-by-mowing if it’s found in the yard. Yet the Daisy Fleabane is pretty enough that it deserves more frequent and closer notice. The delicate flowers can be anywhere from white to pink to purple or even bluish. Most of the ones in my yard are white and tinged with pink on the outer portion of their rays. I protect my daisy fleabanes through their blooming cycle, allowing them to do their thing, so that I can look forward to enjoying them again next year. And I try and protect those that grow in the yards of neighbors who tend toward playing a bit too loose with their power trimmers by pointing out the flowers and employing what I think is their most endearing alias—Lace Buttons. I’ve found that citing a cute name will often earn a reprieve from even the most clean-lawn hardliner. So “what’s in a name?” Well, death if you’re considered expendable. And a glimpse of jewel-like beauty for those who take time to consider the treasure at their feet.