Agastache Beesor

Agastache Beesor

Agastache Bees

There are many plants of the Agastache genus, and the plant has been widely cultivated and hybridized for nursery sales in recent years. You’re likely to find the plant in a cultivated species other than A. foeniculum with spikes of bright pink, orange, or red flowers, or cultivars of A. foeniculum with names like ‘Black Adder’ and ‘Blue Fortune’. While some cultivars are still attractive to pollinators, others are less so. If you’re looking to provide the best support for pollinators, plant the straight species of giant blue hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) or the cultivar ‘Blue Fortune’ which, in a study by Mt. Cuba Center, was found to be as attractive as the straight species. Avoid planting ‘Golden Jubilee’, a cultivar with vivid green leaves, it’s been found to be unnoticed by bees.


Maybe not as tasty, but showy in the perennial border. It’s a cross between A. foeniculum and A. rugosum, commonly called Korean mint. The leaves are a bit crinkly. There are also varieties in shades of orange, pink, white and multicolored, the result of work with other Agastache species. Some are low-growing, and many are not as winter hardy, but they all tend to bloom the first year from seed and make good container plants.The plant’s name is confusing. I’ve heard it called Agastache anista, but the correct botanical name is Agastache foeniculum, (Ah-gah-STAH-kee Fuh-NICK-you-lum), which alludes to the leaves’ fennel-like flavor. Though its chief common name is anise hyssop, it is neither a hyssop not an anise. Another common name is licorice mint, though it is neither a mint nor a licorice.

Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, is a short-lived herbaceous perennial with blue flowers and fragrant foliage that can be used as an ornamental or in the herb garden. Native to prairies, dry upland forested areas, plains and fields in the upper Midwest and Great Plains into Canada (from northern Colorado to Wisconsin and in Canada from Ontario west to British Columbia), this plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) is hardy in zones 3 to 8.Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is a perennial in the mint family that is native to much of the northern section of North America (northern Colorado to Wisconsin and in Canada from Ontario west to British Columbia). It goes by several common names: giant hyssop, lavender hyssop, and blue giant hyssop. However, it is NOT closely related to hyssop (Hyssopus spp.), a European plant traditionally used as a healing herb, nor to anise (Pimpinella anisum), a completely different plant in the carrot family. It does have lovely purplish blue flower spikes that last a long time and fragrant leaves with a licorice scent. No doubt that licorice scent deters deer, though my research indicates that rabbits may eat it. So far, neither pest has nibbled on my anise hyssop. (Source: piedmontmastergardeners.org)



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