Agastache anethiodora (Nutt.) Britton & A.Br.
Hyptis marathrosma (Spreng.) Benth.
Hyssopus anethiodorus Nutt.
Hyssopus anisatus Nutt.
Hyssopus discolor Desf.
Hyssopus foeniculum (Pursh) Spreng.
Lophanthus anisatus (Nutt.) Benth.
Lophanthus foeniculum (Pursh) E.Mey.
Perilla marathrosma Spreng.
Stachys foeniculum Pursh
Vleckia albescens Raf.
Vleckia anethiodora (Nutt.) Greene
Vleckia anisata (Nutt.) Raf.
Vleckia bracteata Raf.
Vleckia bracteosa Raf.
Vleckia discolor Raf.
Vleckia foeniculum (Pursh) MacMill.
Vleckia incarnata Raf.
Common Name: Anise Hyssop
The flowers are especially good at attracting butterflies - here we have a Cabbage White (Pieris brassicae) and a Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Photograph by: Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
Agastache foeniculum is an erect, clump-forming herbaceous, perennial plant growing 60 - 120cm tall. The plant forms a cluster of stems from a slowly-spreading rhizomatous rootstock[
The plant is one of the nicer wild foods and is often harvested from the wild for local use, both as a food and medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental in the garden, valued especially for its attractive flower spikes and their ability to bring bees, butterflies and humming birds into the garden.
Northern, western and central N. America - Northwest Territories to Quebec and New Brunswick, south to Colorado and Illinois.
Dry thickets, fields and waste ground[
] on prairies and plains[
|Pollinators||Bees, Butterflies, Humming birds
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Prefers a sunny position, though it tolerates some shade[
]. Requires a dry well-drained soil[
]. An easily grown plant, succeeding in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils[
].. Plants tolerate dry soils, particularly once established[
The young growth in spring is very susceptible to slug damage[
The flowering plants are very attractive to bees and butterflies[
There is at least one named variety. 'Texas American' has an anise-pennyroyal fragrance and is used in a similar way to the species[
Leaves and flowers - raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in raw or cooked dishes[
]. Excellent raw, they have a sweet aniseed flavour and are one of our favourite flavourings in salads[
]. They make a delicious addition to the salad bowl[
] and can also be used to flavour cooked foods, especially acid fruits[
].The only drawback to the leaves is that they tend to have a drying effect in the mouth and so cannot be eaten in quantity[
A pleasant tasting tea is made from the leaves[
The seeds can be added as a flavouring to cookies or muffins[
The leaves are cardiac and diaphoretic[
]. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of colds, fevers, weak heart etc[
]. When left to go cold, the infusion is used to treat pains in the chest (such as when the lungs are sore from too much coughing)[
A poultice of leaves and stems can be used to treat burns[
The dried, aromatic leaves can be added to potpourris[
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.