Botanical Name: Agastache cana
Species: A. cana
Synonyms:Cedronella cana, Cedronella hastifolia
Common Names: Mosquito plant, Texas hummingbird mint,Hoary Balm Of Gilead
Habitat: Agastache cana is native to South-western N. America – Texas to New Mexico.It grows on the dry slopes of mountains.
Agastache cana is an evergreen Perennial shurb growing to 3 feet by 2 feet wide . It is an erect species with ovate leaves, semi-woody structure, and profuse branching. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. It begins to blossom in early June and continues to bloom until late Septembe. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. The flowers of the mosquito plant are 5 zygomorphic petals fused into a tube shape. Two of these petals extend forward like a visor, while the other 3 petals form a reflexed lip. The flowers are arranged in whorls accompanied by compact spikes. The tubular shape flower blossoms as dark pink clusters and towers over the mint scented foliage. The fruit that arise from these plants divide into 4 dark nutlets each about 2 mm long. The grayish-green colored leaves (cana means grey) has a mint bubblegum fragrance. A. cana is a prolific organism, which means it actively reproduces all growing season.
Prefers a sunny sheltered position and a well-drained sandy loam enriched with leaf-mould. Best if given a hot dry position in full sun. Plants are only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. Another report says that they are hardy to about -20°c. Plants are short-lived. A good bee plant.
The mosquito plant has obtained recognition for attracting broad-tailed hummingbirds that are used for migration pattern studies. It is also known to be an herb that is edible. Dried petals of the flower and leaves can be used in tea. Leaves – used as a flavouring. A very fragrant flavour This species is used for ornamental purposes for many rock garden homes in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Most importantly, A. cana is known for being a natural mosquito repellent. This mint family member has a highly flavored oil that minimizes contact with many flying insects, including mosquitos. It works in the same way as the citronella-geranium hybrid plant. In order to release the mosquito-repelling odor, the plant needs to be crushed and rubbed unto surfaces. Many people apply the contents of the crushed plant directly to their skin. When A. cana is brought together with larval control and mosquito breeding sites, it can effectively decrease the mosquito population in a given area.
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.
Known Hazards: Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. Pollen may cause allergic reaction.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.