Botanical Name: Conoclinium greggii, formerly Eupatorium greggii
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun
Bloom: Bluish-Lavender (August-October)
The velvety, lavender-blue inflorescences of Conoclinium greggii are an essential to north Texas butterfly gardens. This perennial is a butterfly haven and favorite nectar source of Monarch and Queen butterflies. The cushion-like flowers act as butterfly magnets blooming intermittently from spring to fall. In early spring, textured green foliage emerges and makes an excellent filler to accent a spring garden.
In fall, C. greggii presents its showiest display of flowers and attracts flocks of hungry migrating butterflies. Queen butterflies seek C. greggii because the male butterflies extract a toxic natural compound from the plant that is used in reproduction to protect the eggs.
Eupatorium greggii, has been reclassified as Conoclinium greggii. The new genus name derives from the Greek words konos meaning cone and klinion meaning little bed, referring to the blue flower tufts butterflies rest on to gather nectar. The species and common name honor Josiah Gregg, a 19th century explorer and plant enthusiast. This Texas native can be found growing in damp areas along creeks, bottomlands, ponds, springs and bogs of the Trans-Pecos, Edwards Plateau, and Rio Grande Plains.
Add a splash of cool, crisp summer-fall color with the light airy blue flowers of C. greggii. This plant is easy to care for and drought tolerant once established. Supplemental water is needed during extreme drought conditions. Cut this plant back for a tidier appearance, keep in mind this plant can become aggressive.