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Billy-Goat Weed

Ageratum conyzoides

inflorescence of Billy-Goat Weed, Ageratum conyzoides, Eldoret, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Plants about 1 meter tall growing in a fence row. Eldoret, Kenya. January 2012.

Billy-Goat Weed is toxic to most animals and that explains the name: it may be among the few plants remaining after goats have grazed a pasture. The several branching stems of this herbaceous plant may be up to two meters tall. The showy flowers and reputed medicinal uses has prompted humans to disperse this plant to tropical areas world-wide.

  • Ray Flowers: Ray flowers are absent.
  • Disc Flowers: The many disc florets have long tubular corollas and in horticultural varieties they can be quite long. Blue heads, but pale blue or white heads are also present.
  • Phyllaries: Lance shaped and abruptly tapered at tips.
  • Pappus: short scales at top of seeds.
  • Leaves: The simple leaves are triangular in outline and the margins are toothed.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 26 July 2012