Anise Hyssop Plants
Anise Hyssop is one of the most versatile herb plants we grow and perfect for any type of herb gardening. This is an attractive honey plant, a culinary herb that produces abundant nectar which yields a light fragrant honey. Anise is also a aromatic herb with strongly anise-scented. This herb plant is delightful for tea or as culinary seasoning. A gorgeous ornamental, it produces showy purple flowers.
A member of the Mint family, this is an easy to grow and drought tolerant perennial that can take the summer heat. Don’ bother with compost or fertilizer as these plants work best in ‘challenging’ soils. They self sow in places where they are thriving.
These plants are beloved by all nectar lovers – bees and native pollinators are attracted to the nectar filled blooms.
This plant makes a great ornamental perennial with the added bonus of being a BEE MAGNET! It is a hardy perennial that needs little more than a sunny and well-drained spot. The plants generally last about 3 years, although in our test gardens, they’ve lasted far longer and never developed that ‘weedy’ look.
As a culinary herb, the leaves should be harvested close to when they are about to flower. They can be dried and stored in glass jars. Flowers are edible and used in salads, drinks and desserts.
We also grow traditional Hyssop plants, which are nice shrubby evergreens that love to bloom.
Anise Hyssop (also known as Licorice Mint) always dies back to the ground in winter and emerges again in early spring. It blooms almost all summer and will freely seed itself, if not pruned. Small birds love the seeds.
An herbaceous perennial hardy in Zones 5 to 9, the upright anise hyssop reaches 2 to 3 feet in height and is about 2 feet across. In the wild, the season of bloom is from June to September; in the garden, count on flowers in late summer. The 4- to 6-inch dense spikes of small, two-lipped flowers are variously characterized as purple, dusky dull indigo-violet, blue and violet-blue. Bees love the flowers, and so do herb crafters, as the blossoms retain their fragrance and color when dried.
According to Stephen Orr, author of The New American Herbal, these plants were important sources of both nutrition and medicine for many Native American tribes including the Apache, Mojave and Comanche tribes. The lovely purple flower spikes are edible, with the sweet flower of anise. A great addition to fruit salads. In our gardens, these plants are extremely attractive to bees and we are using them as a means of fighting the devastating effects of CCD.