Ageratum houstonianum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ageratum houstonianum Miller

Protologue: Gard. dict. ed. 8: Ageratum No 2 (1768).


  • Ageratum mexicanum Sims (1825).

Vernacular names

  • Goatweed (En). Probably many of the vernacular names listed under A. conyzoides also refer to A. houstonianum.


Originating from Central America, but cultivated in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. It is found naturalized in many warmer regions including China, India and locally in South-East Asia (e.g. Peninsular Malaysia, Java, the Philippines, Vietnam).


Probably A. houstonianum has similar medicinal applications as A. conyzoides, but there is little information in literature about its actual uses. The plant yields an insecticide, and it is commonly planted as ornamental.


  • An annual erect herb, at the base sometimes creeping and rooting, up to 70(-90) cm tall, stems clothed with patent white hairs.
  • Leaves subtriangular, ovate to deltoid, 2-8.5(-9.5) cm × (1.5-)3-6.5(-8) cm, with cordate to truncate base.
  • Head 5.5-7 mm long, 75-100-flowered, outermost involucral bracts with both simple hairs and shorter glandular hairs, inner involucral bracts gradually tapering into an acute apex.
  • Corolla 2.5-3 mm long?
  • Fruit hairy.

A. houstonianum is locally common in fields, roadsides and waste places up to 1700 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A., 1951. Phytolaccaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (General editor): Flora Malesiana. Series 1, Vol. 4. Noordhoff Kolff, Djakarta, Indonesia. pp. 228-232.
  • Chandra, S., Shahi, A.K., Dutt, P. & Tawa, A., 1996. Essential oil composition of Ageratum houstonianum Mill. from Jammu region of India. Journal of Essential Oil Research 8(2): 129-134.
  • Hänsel, R. et al. (Editors), 1992. Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutishe Praxis [Hagers handbook of the practice of pharmacology]. Springer Verlag, Berlin, Germany. 1209 pp.
  • Holm, L.G., Plucknett, D.L., Pancho, J.V. & Herberger, J.P., 1977. The world's worst weeds. Distribution and biology. East West Center, the University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu, United States. 609 pp.
  • Johnson, M.F., 1971. A monograph of the genus Ageratum L. (Compositae Eupatorieae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 58(1): 6-88.
  • Menut, C., Lamaty, G., Zollo, P.H.A., Kuiate, J.R. & Bessiere, J.M., 1993. Aromatic plants of tropical central Africa. Part X. Chemical composition of the essential oils of Ageratum houstonianum Mill. and Ageratum conyzoides L. from Cameroon. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 8(1): 1-4.
  • Mohiuddin, S., Khan, M.A., Qureshi, R.A., Kapadia, Z. & Qureshi, S.A., 1990. Ageratum houstonianum, a plant with insectistatic potential. Karachi University Journal of Science 18(1-2): 159-164.
  • Ohta, T., Kuhr, R.J. & Bowers, W.S., 1977. Radiosynthesis and metabolism of the insect antijuvenile hormone precocene II. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 25(3): 478-481.
  • Quijano, L., Calderon, J.S., Gomez, F. & Rios, T., 1982. Two polymethoxyflavones from Ageratum houstonianum. Phytochemistry 21(12): 2965-2967.
  • Sahu, T.R., 1982. Taxonomic studies of the genus Ageratum L. in India. Feddes Repertorium 93(1-2): 61-65.
  • Sharma, V.S., 1987. Comments on the identity of Ageratum conyzoides L., and A. houstonianum Mill.- two naturalized weeds in India. Feddes Repertorium 98(11-12): 557-560.
  • Siebertz, R., Proksch, P. & Witte, L., 1990. Accumulation and biosynthesis of the chromenes precocene I and II in Ageratum houstonianum. Phytochemistry 29(7): 2135-2138.
  • Taibi, M. & Zamarlik, H., 1991. Synthèse des precocenes en une seule étape [Single step synthesis of precocenes]. Tetrahedron Letters 32(49): 7251-7252.

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