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Floss Flower

Scientific name: Ageratum houstonianum

Pronunciation: adge-jur-RAY-tum hoos-toe-nee-AY-num

Common name(s): Mexican Ageratum, Flossflower

Common name in Spanish:  agérato

Common name in French: ageratum du Mexique

Family: Compositae

Plant type: annual

The genus Ageratum includes approximately 60 species of annual and perennial herbs and shrubs in the aster family (Asteraceae) that are all native to Central and South America.  The floss flower has fluffy looking flowers available in shades of blue, lavender, pink and white that can be used for edging, massing, or in containers.  Growing .5 to 1.5 feet in height, the Ageratum prefers partial sun and shade, and can tolerate varying soil conditions including clay, sand, acidic and loam. 

Cultivars are reported to include Adriatic, Blue Blazer, Blue Danube, Hawaii Series, Madison, Ocean, Pacific, Royal Jay, and Royal Delft.  The floss flower is susceptible to two pests including the corn earworm which tunnels in stems and feeds on the foliage, and the greenhouse leaf tier ties leaves together with webbing then feeds on them.

Works Cited

University of Wisconsin

University of Florida

Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)