Brittonastrum betonicoides (Lindl.) Briq.
Brittonastrum mexicanum (Kunth) Briq.
Cedronella mexicana (Kunth) Benth.
Dracocephalum mexicanum Kunth
Gardoquia betonicoides Lindl.
Common Name: Toronjil Morado
Agastache mexicana is a herbacous perennial plant producing a cluster of erect, branched stems from 50 - 150cm tall from slowly-spreading rhizomes.
The plant is a popular medicinal herb in Mexico, where it is sold in local markets and also in national markets. The plant is cultivated locally for medicinal use in gardens and also commercially on a small scale both for local use and for sale[
]. The plant is also grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its flowers and their ability to attract bees, butterflies and humming birds to the garden.
Southern N. America - northeastern to southern Mexico.
|Pollinators||Bees, Butterflies, Humming birds
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Agastache mexicana is usually found at elevations above 2,000 metres in the subtropical to tropical regions of Mexico. It is unlikely to tolerate more than a few degrees of frost, though has been seen growing successfully at Kew Botanic Gardens in the UK, which is in climate zone 7.
Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils so long as they are well-drained.
Plants are not very long-lived, especially in cultivation[
]. They can be grown as annuals, flowering and producing seed in their first year of growth[
The flowers are very attractive to bees, butterflies and humming birds.
The highly aromatic young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods[
]. A pungent, liquorice flavour[
The young leaves are used to make a herbal tea[
]. It is drunk as an aromatic tea after meals[
The plant is used in traditional medicine as a tranquilizer, sleep inducer, anti-hypertensive, anti rheumatic treatment, and as a treatment for stomach pain[
]. An infusion of the plant, both fresh or dried, is valued in treating various gastrointestinal, nervous, and cardiovascular ailments[
The plant is harvested for drying as it comes into flower since this is when it is most aromatic[
The plant contains several medically active compounds, including an essential oil[
Compounds isolated from this plant include diosmetin, gardenin A, acacetin, ursolic acid, and tilianin1170].
An essential oil obtained from the plant is used medicinally and also has significant antifungal activity. It has been recommended for use to develop natural fungicidal formulations in order to protect post-harvest stored grains[
]. Higher antifungal activity is displayed when the complete essential oil is used, as opposed to individual components from the oil used in isolation, suggesting that enhancement of antifungal activity is obtained when other minor compounds are present in the oil, suggesting that the antifungal activity is a result of a synergistic effect.[
The main constituents of the essential oil are pulegone (75%), menthone (14%), and limonene (3%)[
Seed - sow in a container and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 13°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Division - fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions.
Basal cuttings of young shoots[
]. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out as soon as they are large enough.
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