Fragrant White Mistflower, Ageratina havanensis: Fall-blooming perennial shrub that attracts pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds
Description: Fragrant White Mistflower, also known as Shrubby Boneset and Thoroughwort (Ageratina havanensis, formerly Eupatorium havanense), is native to the Edwards Plateau, central, south and west Texas. It is a medium-sized shrub usually growing about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide in North Texas, but is recorded as up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It is considered deciduous but may be semi-evergreen during a mild winter. Its light green, triangular-shaped leaves are 1 to 3 inches long.
Flowers and Seeds: Fragrant White Mistflower blooms in the fall with long-lasting, fuzzy white flowers that attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators. Subsequently small fruit, about two tenths of an inch long, appear bearing seeds.
Planting sites: Fragrant White Mistflower thrives in full sun and partial shade, although it blooms more profusely with more sun. It is well adapted to dry, well-drained conditions, but will also tolerate poor drainage. It will grow in most soil types including alkaline soils.
Watering Instructions: Like many Texas natives, Fragrant White Mistflower does not need a lot of water, but may need supplemental water during its first growing season. After it is established, it should survive with existing rainfall.
Comments: Because of its fall blooms, Fragrant White Mistflower is a delight in North Texas landscapes. Heavy shearing during the winter promotes a bushier shape and more prolific blooming, because flowers appear only on new wood. Fragrant White Mistflower is lovely as an edge or understory shrub in a naturalized garden setting, or in a formal landscape. It can be used in place of non-native Chrysanthemums. Native companion species include Fall Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, formerly Aster oblongifolius), Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Lindheimer's Muhly (Muhlenbergia lindheimeri) and Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata) which bloom during the same period.
Written by: Dr. Becca Dickstein