Agastache

Agastache foeniculum by squamatologist

One of the herbs that I bought at Russell Gardens Wholesale was Agastache foeniculum – Giant Hyssop or Anise Hyssop ‘Blue Fortune’. Though I bought the plant, it is easy to grow it from seed. And if you have friends who have Agastache, I feel certain that they will be happy to give you some plants since it spreads easily when planted where it is happy.

There are about 30 species of Agastache and most are native to North America. The Agastache I have grows in Temperature hardiness zones from 4 to 9, is over 4 feet tall and blooms from late June through September. I bought Agastache, an aromatic perennial, not so much for its flowers but because it is a rich source of nectar so that it attracts bees and butterflies and is supposed to attract hummingbirds; though I think the flowers make a nice addition to an indoor bouquet.

This is a plant in the mint family so it is fairly easy to raise in sun and partial shade. How can one tell that it is in the mint family? Feel the stem. All plants in the mint family have a square stem. Agastache needs well-drained soil and like most herbs, it does best in full sun but tolerates partial shade. Agastache foeniculum tolerates poorer soils and dry conditions but if it is too dry, it might be affected by powdery mildew. It is good for the herb garden or back of borders.

Some North American tribes used Agastache foeniculum for coughs as part of their traditional medicine. Though TheGardenLady has never used it as food, I have read in “The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses ” that the flowers may be added to salads and the flowers and leaves can be used fresh or dried as a flavoring or for tea.

One Reply to “Agastache”

  1. Good info on one of my favorite plants. I didn’t know that about the square stems–interesting!

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