Ageratum is a member of the daisy family. The flowers are loose clusters of rounded flowers with a ‘fluffy’ appearance about 1 to 2 cm across, but larger forms can be up to 7 cm. They come predominantly in powdery blue, but you can sometimes find lilac, pink and white forms. Bunches are short stemmed.
This is an annual crop and is most commonly grown in the field. It is most commonly grown in the hills east of Melbourne, in the sandy soils around Cranbourne and the Mornington Peninsula and west of Sydney.
What to look for
- Flowers need to be open, so buy when at least 1/3 of the flowers in a bunch are open;
- Avoid bunches with yellow leaves and faded, wilting flowers.
- Keep cool at all times.
- Break bunches apart.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem and wash thoroughly.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem and place in water immediately.
- Always use a preservative as this will help buds open and keep open flowers looking fresh.
- Replace vase water with fresh preservative every 2 to 3 days.
- These flowers are very sensitive to ethylene. Keep them away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
Botanical Name: Ageratum houstonianum
Common Names: Floss Flower, Pussy Foot
Stem Length: 30 to 50 cm
Country of Origin: Central America: southern Mexico to Guatemala
Available Colours: Blue, Pink, Purple, White