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Ageratum conyzoides - L.

Common Name Goatweed, Tropical whiteweed
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats A common weed of cultivated ground, having spread from its native range to all areas of the Tropics within 20° of the Equator, to an altitude of 2,500 metres[200].
Range S. America.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Ageratum conyzoides Goatweed, Tropical whiteweed

Ageratum conyzoides Goatweed, Tropical whiteweed


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ageratum conyzoides is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. It is in leaf from May to October, in flower from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiinflammatory  Leprosy  Lithontripic  Skin  Styptic  Vulnerary

The plant contains between 0.7 - 2.0% essential oil, plus alkaloids and saponins[283]. The whole plant is antiinflammatory and antiallergic[283]. The juice of the fresh plant, or an extract of the dried plant, is used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis[283]. The juice of the fresh plant is also useful in treating post-partum uterine haemorrhage[283]. The juice of the root is antilithic[240, 243]. A paste of the root, mixed with the bark of Schinus wallichii, is applied to set dislocated bones[272]. The leaves are styptic[240]. They are dried and applied as a powder to cuts, sores and the ruptures caused by leprosy[272], The powder absorbs the moisture of the disease and forms a layer that is removed after 1 - 2 days[272]. An effective cure for most cuts and sores, though it does not effect a complete cure for leprosy[272]. The leaves are also used externally in the treatment of ague[240, 243]. The juice of the plant is used to treat cuts, wounds and bruises[272]. A paste of the leaves is used as a poultice to remove thorns from the skin[272]. A paste made of the leaves mixed with equal amounts of Bidens pilosa, Drymaria cordata, Galinsoga parviflora and the rhizome of Zingiber officinale is used to treat snakebites[272]. The juice of the flowerheads is used externally to treat scabies, whilst a paste of them is used to treat rheumatism[272]. A tea made from the flowerheads mixed with Ocimum tenuifolium is used to treat coughs and colds[272].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

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Other Uses

Essential  Hair

The leaves and the flowers yield 0.2% essential oil with a powerful nauseating odour[240]. The oil contains 5% eugenol, which has a pleasant odour[240]. The oil from plants growing in Africa has an agreeable odour, consisting almost entirely of eugenol[240]. A decoction of the fresh plant is used as a hair wash, leaving the hair soft, fragrant and dandruff free[283].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in full sun in a sheltered position in any reasonably fertile moisture-retentive soil that does not dry out in the summer[200]. Plant vigour and flowering periods are much reduced on dry soils[200]. This species is not frost hardy, though it can be grown as a summer annual in Britain[200]. The fresh plant is malodorous[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings when large enough to handle and plant out after the last expected frosts[200]. Seed can also be sown in situ in the spring and, for earlier blooms, it is possible to sow it in late summer or early autumn, though it will need to be overwintered in a warm greenhouse[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

SOUTHERN AMERICA: United States (Puerto Rico), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Achillea ageratumMace, Sweet-nancyPerennial0.6 6-9  LMHNDM20 
Ageratum houstonianumAgeratum, Bluemink, Floss Flower, GardenAnnual0.3 0-0 MLMHNDM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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