PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

So, you wanna make honey bees happy? This is one of the best ways to do it. Anise Hyssop is in the mint family and like all plants in the mint family, the flowers produce loads of scrumptious nectar constantly for months in a row. Like Beebalm (also in the mint family) hummingbirds will stage epic air battles for dominance over a patch of it.

Anise Hyssop is a perennial that sometimes does not make it through winter, but usually does. It self seeds so even if the original plant goes away, it will be replaced. It remains polite in the garden and does not spread willy nilly or try to take over. New foliage is deep green with purplish tinges and it shoots up multiple strongly vertical stems to about 2 feet, each topped with lavender-colored bottle-brush type blooms. It keeps sending up new ones over and over. Cut it back to a few inches when it looks spent and it will start all over again. Happy in full sun to light shade.

The leaves of Anise Hyssop have a delightful minty/anise flavor and make great tea by themselves or to flavor other drinks. A really great cordial can be made from the flowers and leaves. Like nearly any mint-family plant, drinking it as tea is calming to a frazzled mind and good for digestion.