ageratum

noun
ag·​er·​a·​tum | \ ˌa-jə-ˈrā-təm How to pronounce ageratum (audio) \
plural ageratum also ageratums

Definition of ageratum

: any of a genus (Ageratum) of annual tropical American composite herbs often cultivated for their small showy heads of usually blue or white flowers also : a related blue-flowered perennial (Eupatorium coelestinum)

Examples of ageratum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Flowers to start from seed: Cannabis, cosmos, snaps, ageratum, seed dahlias, godetia, aster, celosia, malva, salvia, lupine, Achimenes (tubers), brachyscome (15C), dianthus (5), stock(10L), lockspar (20C). Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska gardeners, it’s time to germinate something," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ageratum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ageratum

circa 1737, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ageratum

borrowed from New Latin (Linnaeus), going back to Latin ageraton (Pliny), a plant, perhaps Achillea ageratum, borrowed from Greek agḗraton (Dioscorides), from neuter of agḗratos "ageless, undecaying," from a- a- entry 2 + -gēratos, derivative from the base of gêras "old age" — more at geronto-

Note: Introduced by Linnaeus in Hortus Cliffortianus (Amsterdam, 1737), p. 396. The name may have been suggested to Linnaeus by the resemblance of his Ageratum conyzoides to some species of Eupatorium, which, in pre-Linnaean nomenclature, were also called Ageratum; specifically, the plant now known as Achillea ageratum, which may have been the ancients' ageraton, was called by herbalists both Ageratum and Eupatorium mesues (e.g., in Joseph Miller's Botanicum officinale, or a Compendious Herbal, London, 1722, p. 18). In Genera Plantarum, 2. ed. (p. 392), Linnaeus notes that he departs from previous application of the name ("Aliud est Ageratum Boerhaavii, quod partim ad Achillæas, partim ad Tanaceta spectat"). In Dioscorides' account of the plant in Greek, agḗraton is so called because the flowers keep their form for a long time.

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The first known use of ageratum was circa 1737

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Cite this Entry

“Ageratum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ageratum. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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