FLOSSFLOWER

Ageratum houstonianum

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]

month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8red
flower
flower8mauve
flower
flower8azure
flower
flower8lilac
flower
flower8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZMany
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZbisexual

17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Flossflower is a garden escapee. This specimen was planted, but this is what it looks like when growing in the wild too. It grows to 60cm high.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are 'flossy'. Stem beetroot coloured and hairy. Newly-opened flowers are red and compact.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Bracts encircling the flowers are numerous, long and tapering, in two or three layers and have beetroot-red tips. They have glandular hairs which exude a sticky substance. Everything is hairy apart from the inflorescence itself. Each of the numerous florets in this compound flower has two long projections (style branches) which are the main feature.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are in bunches called corymbs and start off with a compact red centre which grow into long filamentous flowers which can be various colours, here into white.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Some opened flowers are pinkish white, but red to pink before the florets open.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Before the individual florets open unleashing their extended style-branches the circular row of beetroot-coloured bracts resemble eyelashes.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Each of the many florets will open and exude two long narrow style-branches.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
A short plant yet to grow taler. It already has many corymbs of flowers. Here the leaves are without their beetroot coloured edges.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Older plants might develop leaves which have beetroot coloured edges.


17th Sept 2017, Blackleach Country Pk, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
The leaves with beetroot-edged short-hairy edges. Presumably plants which do not have red-coloured disc florets will also lack this beetroot-coloured edging.


Being a member of the Dandelion & Daisy family Asteraceae many of the Flossflower species (Ageratum) contain toxic Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including houstonianum and conyzoides species. It is a neophyte native to Mexico, Central America and the Carribean. It is grown in gardens in the UK from where it only occasionally escapes.


  Ageratum houstonianum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asteraceae  

Distribution
 family8Daisy & Dandelion family8Asteraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Ageratum
Ageratum
(Flossflower)

FLOSSFLOWER

Ageratum houstonianum

Daisy & Dandelion Family [Asteraceae]