Texas Natives – October, 2007
Last of the Season
While many gardeners are perusing their favorite nurseries for pansies, ornamental kale and holiday trees, white mistflower is still blooming. White mistflower (Ageratina havanensis) is also referred to as fragrant mistflower, thoroughwort or boneset. A drought-tolerant native shrub, white mistflower ranges from Central and West Texas into Mexico. It is a deciduous shrub, growing from 3 to 6 feet in height with a 4-foot spread and thrives in full sun to partial shade. Adapted to rocky ravines and limestone ledges, white mistflower tolerates alkaline, well-drained soil, although it is known to adapt to poorly drained soils, as well. The highly fragrant white to pinkish-white flowers begin to appear in November and extend into early December in North Texas.
Plants should be sheared back in late winter to encourage compact growth and increase flowering the following year. White mistflower can be propagated from seed or softwood cuttings. Seed, collected in late fall and sown on top of the soil in spring, will germinate in about two weeks. Cuttings taken during summer will root within two weeks.
To extend seasonal bloom in the garden as well as provide a prized nectar source for butterflies and beneficial insect pollinators, white mistflower is a perfect choice!
For more on this plant, and to see what’s happening at Texas Discovery Gardens this month, go to www.texasdiscoverygardens.org/texasnatives.htm.
About the author: Tina Dombrowski is the Director of Horticulture at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, Dallas. She has a particular interest in Texas native plants, butterflies, pollinating insects and their interconnected histories.