Ageratina aromatica

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Ageratina aromatica
Ageratina aromatica gil.jpg
Photo taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Ageratina
Species: A. aromatica
Binomial name
Ageratina aromatica
(L.) Spach
AGER AROM dist.jpg
Natural range of Ageratina aromatica from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Lesser snakeroot; Wild hoarhound

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Eupatorium aromaticum Linnaeus; Eupatorium aromaticum var. aromaticum; Eupatorium aromaticum var. incisum A. Gray; A. aromatica var. aromatica; A. aromatica var. incisa (Gray) C.F. Reed; Eupatorium latidens Small; Eupatorium aromaticum Linnaeus

The genus name Ageratina comes from the Greek word "agera" which means un-aging, not growing old in reference to the longevity of the flowers. The specific epithet comes from the Greek word "aroma" meaning spice seasoning.[1]


A description of Ageratina aromatica is provided in The Flora of North America.

Ageratina aromatica is a perennial.[2] It can be distinguished from the closely related A. altissima by having smaller, thicker, and less sharply toothed leaves on shorter petioles, smaller stature, smaller flower heads, and thicker roots, and shorter, firmer pubescence.[3]


It is infrequent in west Florida. It is found west to Mississippi, east towards Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.[2] It is regionally rare in New England. In Massachusetts and Connecticut it is listed as endangered (S1) and in Rhode Island is historical only (SH).[3]



Habitats of A. aromatica include longleaf pine-wiregrass flatwoods and open longleaf pine-scrub-oak-wiregrass savannas, mixed pine-hardwood forests, open oak woods, live oak woodlands, longleaf pine sand ridges, upland woodlands, and rolling red hills. It can also be found in disturbed habitat such as roadsides, along fences, and on the edges of fields. This species is observed in a range of light conditions, from open forest situations to semi-shaded and shady areas. It occurs most frequently in moist sandy loam, dry sand, and areas of lime rock.[4]

Associated species: Andropogon, Chamaecrista fasiculata, Eupatorium album, Helianthus angustifolius, Liatris graminifolia, Solidago odora, Sorghastrum nutans, Quercus species, Pinus palutris, Aristida stricta, Quercus laevis, Pinus echinata, Liatris, Dicerandra, and others.[4]


It can spread vegetatively in a limited area, but it is dependent on sexual reproduction to colonize new areas.[3] Flowering occurs in the fall.[5] It has been observed flowering and fruiting in October and November in particular.[4]

In north Florida, it has been observe to reproduce with A. juncunda suggesting these species are possibly conspecific.[6]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind. [7]

Fire ecology

Ageratina aromatica is found in annually burned savannas and wet pinelands.[4] It is the common ground cover species of North Florida Longleaf Woodlands, which are dependent on fire.[8] This species requires full to partial sun, therefore forest maturation and canopy closure resulting from a lack of disturbance such as fire can shade out A. aromatica.[3]

Conservation and management

In New England, it is threatened by fire suppression and lack of disturbance that allows for canopy closure and forest maturation, resulting in lack of sunlight needed for A. aromatica to prosper.[3]

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. [[1]]Alabama Plants. Accessed: March 22, 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hall, David W. Illustrated Plants of Florida and the Coastal Plain: based on the collections of Leland and Lucy Baltzell. 1993. A Maupin House Book. Gainesville. 100. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 [[2]]New England Wild. Accessed: March 22, 2016
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 .Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Robert Blaisdell, Andre F. Clewell, William B. Fox, J. P. Gillespie, Robert K. Godfrey, C. Jackson, Gary R. Knight, R. Komarek, Robert Kral, Robert L. Lazor, Sidney McDaniel, Richard S. Mitchell, P. L. Redfearn Jr., V. I. Sullivan, Jean W. Wooten, and Geo. Wilder MacClendons. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, and Wakulla. Georgia: Grady.
  5. Wunderlin, Richard P. and Bruce F. Hansen. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. Second edition. 2003. University Press of Florida: Gainesville/Tallahassee/Tampa/Boca Raton/Pensacola/Orlando/Miami/Jacksonville/Ft. Myers. 295. Print.
  6. Clewell, A. F. and J. W. Wooten (1971). "A Revision of Ageratina (Compositae: Eupatorieae) from Eastern North America." Brittonia 23(2): 123-143.
  7. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  8. Carr, S. C., K. M. Robertson, et al. (2010). "A Vegetation Classification of Fire-Dependent Pinelands of Florida." Castanea 75(2): 153-189.