NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Ageratum houstonianum Mill.

Synonym
  • Ageratum mexicanum Sims
Vernacular Name Flossflower, Bluemink, Blueweed, Pussy Foot, Mexican Paintbrush
Images
Conservation status No status defined
Occurrence: [aAz(F, M), aBe(B), cBH, Br, cBu, dBy, Ca(T), aCs, Ct, nEg, cEs, aGa(F), aGe, nGg, aHu, aIt, aLu, nMd(M), cMo, cPo, cRf(C, E, N, NW, S), cSr, nTcs, cUk(K, U)] (EuroMed, 2018). A cool-season annual plant often grown as bedding in gardens. The plant grows to 0.3–1 m high, with ovate to triangular leaves 2–7 cm long, and blue flowerheads (sometimes white, pink, or purple). The flower heads are borne in dense corymbs. The ray flowers are threadlike, leading to the common name. The plant is native to Central America and adjacent parts of Mexico, but has become an invasive weed in other areas. Ageratum has evolved an ingenious method of protecting itself from insects; it produces a methoprene-like compound which interferes with the normal function of the corpus allatum, the organ responsible for secreting juvenile hormone. This chemical triggers the next molting cycle to prematurely develop adult structures, and can render most insects sterile if ingested in large enough quantities. Ageratum houstonianum is toxic to grazing animals, causing liver lesions. It contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Book reference
  • Кузярін О.Т. Судинні рослини території торфовища "Білогорща” (м. Львів) // Наукові основи збереження біотичної різноманітності. - 2010. - Т.1(8), №1. - С.75-90.
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Experts
  • Alexander KUZYARIN, Dr, e-mail: kuzyarin@gmail.com

Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Plantae
Viridiplantae
Tracheophyta
Euphyllophytina
Magnoliopsida
Asterales
Asteraceae (=Compositae)