Agastache mexicana xolocotziana
Common Name: Toronjil Blanco
Agastache mexicana xolocotziana is an erect herbaceous, perennial plant producing a cluster of branched stems up to 150cm tall from slender, 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 in gardens and also commercially on a small scale both for local use and for sale[
Southwestern N. America - central Mexico.
|Bees, Butterflies, Humming birds
Agastache mexicana xolocotziana is usually found at elevations above 2,000 metres in the subtropical to tropical regions of central Mexico. It is found in an area where the mean annual temperature ranges from 12 - 16°c; the temperature rarely falls below 3°c, nor does it often rise above 30°c. Very occasional frosts are experienced - the very lowest temperature ever recorded was -4.4°c. Precipitation is around 820mm; it is heavily concentrated in the summer months, with a dry season of around 7 months.
Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils so long as they are well-drained.
The aromatic young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods[
The herb, both fresh or dried, is drunk as an aromatic tea after meals[
]. A subtle, lemon fragrance[
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[
Although this subspecies shares some common chemical constituents with Agastache mexicana, it also has a number of unique compounds:-
Breviflorine is a clerodane-type diterpenoid.
Chrysine and Pratol are flavonoids.
The essential oil is principally formed of Bornil Acetate[
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 spring in a greenhouse 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 in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer[
Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions.
Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring[
]. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.