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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae

396. Ageratum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 839. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 363. 1754.

[Greek a, not, and geras, old age, apparently alluding to long-lasting nature of flowers]

Guy L. Nesom

Annuals and perennials, mostly 20–120 cm. Stems often decumbent (rooting at proximal nodes), sparsely to densely branched. Leaves cauline; all or mostly opposite; petiolate; blades mostly 1-nerved, deltate to ovate, or elliptic to lanceolate, margins entire or toothed, faces glabrous or ± pilose, puberulent, or strigoso-hispid, sometimes gland-dotted. Heads discoid, in dense to open, cymiform to corymbiform arrays. Involucres campanulate, 3–6 mm. Phyllaries persistent, 30–40 in 2–3 series, usually 2-nerved, lanceolate, ± equal (often indurate, margins scarious). Receptacles conic, epaleate [paleate]. Florets 20–125; corollas white or bluish to lavender, throats ± campanulate (lengths 2 times diams.); styles: bases not enlarged, glabrous, branches ± linear to clavate (usually papillose and dilated distally). Cypselae prismatic, 4–5-ribbed, glabrous or sparsely strigoso-hispidulous; pappi persistent, of 5–6 aristate scales, or coroniform, or 0. x = 10.

Species ca. 40 (4 in the flora): United States, Mexico, Central America; 2 species widespread as adventives.


Johnson, M. F. 1971. A monograph of the genus Ageratum L. (Compositae–Eupatorieae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 58: 6–88.

1 Plants colonial; stems and leaves glabrous or glabrate   1 Ageratum maritimum
+ Plants not colonial; stems and leaves hairy   (2)
2 (1) Stems puberulent to minutely strigoso-hispid; cypselae glabrous   2 Ageratum corymbosum
+ Stems sparsely to densely pilose (usually in combination with other forms of vestiture); cypselae sparsely strigoso-hispidulous.   (3)
3 (2) Peduncles minutely puberulent and sparsely to densely pilose, eglandular; phyllaries oblong-lanceolate, abruptly tapering to subulate tips 0.5–1 mm, glabrous or sparsely pilose, margins often ciliate, abaxial faces eglandular   3 Ageratum conyzoides
+ Peduncles mixed pilose, stipitate-glandular, and viscid-puberulent; phyllaries narrowly lanceolate, gradually tapering to indurate-subulate tips 0.8–2 mm, margins not ciliate or inconspicuously ciliate, abaxial faces stipitate-glandular and sparsely to densely pilose   4 Ageratum houstonianum

Lower Taxa


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