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FutureStarrA Amsonia Plant "
A classic plant for both herb gardens and borders, anise hyssop is composed of erect branches of mint-and-licorice-scented, medium green leaves ending in fuzzy spikes of small lavender flowers. The plant grows to 3 to 5 feet tall and 1 foot wide and reseeds freely. The flowers are edible and are charming crumbled into salads. The flowers are highly attractive to numerous pollinators, especially bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum (Pursh) Ktze., Lamiaceae) is an erect, branched perennial herb with opposite, toothed leaves and square stems. It is a member of the mint family, and has a pleasant anise-like aroma. The leaves are ovate-triangular, green above and with soft grey hairs below. Flowers are purple-blue, two-lipped, in a dense terminal spike 4 - 8 cm long. It blooms from June to September. It grows up to 1 m tall.Anise hyssop has been used by North American First Nations people as a breath-freshener, as a tea and as a sweetener. An infusion of the herb was used for chest pains, and the roots were used for coughs. Agastache is used in Chinese prescriptions for heatstroke, headache, fever, and angina. Leaves are used as poultices for sores. It is used in dried flower arrangement, and the essential oils are used in perfumes and aromatherapy. It is also a good source of nectar.
Anise hyssop is found mostly in moist, open woods, along streams and lakeshores, and in wet ditches and prairies. It prefers sandy, moist, well-drained loam, in full sun or very light shade. The pH should be 6 - 6.5. It requires lots of moisture, and wilts if it is too hot. Its natural distribution is from BC across the prairies (in MB north to the Porcupine Mountains) and into western Ontario and the adjacent states. It has been introduced into northeastern North America.One of the easiest and most rewarding perennials to grow! The award winning 'Blue Fortune' is a tremendously long bloomer that produces lavender blue, bottlebrush-like flowers on strong, upright stems from midsummer to early fall. It is useful for adding a spot of color to the garden late in the season when many other plants are finished. Its foliage smells distinctly like black licorice when crushed, thus its common name, Anise Hyssop. (Source: www.waltersgardens.com)