If you want to bring your yard alive with pollinators, Gregg’s Mistflower is a must-have plant for your garden. Come fall, its fluffy purple blooms will be covered with Queen butterflies, and plenty of Monarchs too. They use the flower as an important nectar source during their fall migration.
The great thing about Greggs Mistflower is that you can enjoy its blooms from spring until frost.
Names for Gregg’s Mistflower
Scientific Name: Conoclinium greggi
The scientific (Latin) name for Gregg’s Mistflower is Conoclinium greggi. The plant was named after Josiah Gregg, and early botanist who traveled through Texas in the 1840s. He has over 20 native plants named after him, including another one of my favorites, Salvia greggi (Autumn Sage).
It is important to write down the scientific name of the plant when heading to the nursery to make sure you get the right plant! Good nurseries will have signage & plant labels with the scientific name.
Other Common Names
While each plant can only have one scientific name, it can have many different common names, which can be confusing!
I have always heard this plant referred to as Gregg’s Mistflower or Gregg’s Blue Mistflower (although I think the blooms are more purple than blue). However another common name is Thoroughwort. Not as pretty of a name if you ask me!
Where is Greggs Mistflower Native To?
This pretty plant is native to Texas (mostly West Texas), Arizona and New Mexico.
Gregg’s Mistflower vs. Other Mistflower Plants
You might also hear of a “Blue Mistflower” or “Fragrant Mistflower”. These are actually different plants than Gregg’s Mistflower. The main difference in identifying them is in the leaves.
- Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum): also called Blue Boneset. This plant looks very similar to Gregg’s Mistflower but its leaves are triangular while Gregg’s are palmate (hand shaped).
- Fragrant Mistflower (Chromolaena odorata): also called Blue Boneset and Fragrant Boneset. This also looks very similar to Gregg’s Mistflower but has triangular leaves similar to Blue Mistflower.
- White Mistflower (Ageratina havanensis): also called Shrubby Boneset. It has similar flowers to Gregg’s Mistflower but the blooms are white.
Confused yet?! This is just an example of why using the scientific names is so important. The good news is these are all Texas native plants, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them!
5 Benefits of Growing Gregg’s Mistflower
1. Awesome nectar plant for Queen and Monarch butterflies
Come fall it will be covered in Queen butterflies who rely on this plant for nectar. It is also an important nectar source for Monarchs and helps them during their migration. In addition to being a great nectar plant, it is also a host plant for the Rawson’s Metalmark butterfly.
2. Unique purple flowers from spring until fall
Unlike some perennials in your flower garden, Conoclinium greggi can be relied on to bloom consistently from March through April. Its clusters of fluffy light purple flowers are also very pretty and unique from anything else I’ve seen.
3. Performs well in part shade
It can be hard to find flowering natives that don’t require full sun, but Greggs Mistflower is one of them. It actually likes a little bit of filtered sun or part shade. It can perform great in full sun too, as long as it has some water.
4. Easy to grow in pots
I like to grow Gregg’s Mistflower in pots along with annuals. I think it looks pretty mixed with Dusty Miller and some Coleus for color. Its wispy stems give the plant some movement. Some stems will be upright, and others may flow over the pot. You can always do a little pruning if it gets unwieldy!
5. Spreads quickly and easy to propagate
If you want to cover an area with Gregg’s Mistfower, it will happily spread quickly by rhizomes. It can be aggressive, so it requires some care if you want to keep it to a limited area.
However, it is easy to pull up if it starts growing out of your desired location. Dig some up and give it to friends! Gregg’s Mistflower looks especially pretty in a prairie or wildflower garden setting.
How to Grow Greggs Mistflower
Water weekly in the heat of summer, especially if it is in full sun. Gregg’s Mistflower will die back to the ground in the winter, so you may want to intersperse it with some evergreen plants.
Answers to Common FAQs
I like to cut it back to the ground after it turns brown in winter, or you can wait until early spring when you see new growth appear at the base. You can also trim it back in late spring if it gets too unwieldy!
There are several ways to easily propagate Gregg’s Mistflower. You can collect the seeds in the fall, cut softwood cuttings to root with a root hormone, or dig up new growth in the spring.
While the term “invasive” is reserved for non-native plants, native Gregg’s Mistflower can be aggressive! However it is easy to pull any that escape beyond the area where you want it to grow.
No, unfortunately deer really like to eat Gregg’s Mistflower. You’ll want to keep this one out of their reach!
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Plant by seed or transplant. Likes limestone soil, especially near water.
Water regularly to establish and then weekly during the hottest summer months, especially when in full sun.
Propagate by seed, soft wood cuttings and rooting hormone, or by digging up new growth in the spring.
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