Agastache foeniculum

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Agastache foeniculum
Agastace foeniculum WPC.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Agastache
Species: A. foeniculum
Binomial name
Agastache foeniculum
(Pursh) Kuntze[1]

Agastache foeniculum (blue giant hyssop; syn. Agastache anethiodora (Nutt.) Britton), commonly called anise hyssop, blue giant hyssop, Fragrant giant hyssop, or the lavender giant hyssop, is a species of perennial plant in the mint family, (Lamiaceae). This plant is native to much of north-central and northern North America, notably the Great Plains and other prairies, and can be found in areas of Canada.[1] It is tolerant of deer and drought, and also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies making it an attractive selection for gardeners. [2]

Anise hyssop is in the same family as hyssop (the mint family Lamiaceae), but they are not closely related. Hyssop (Hyssopus) is a genus of about 10-12 species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants native from the east Mediterranean to central Asia.[1] The genus name is related to the flower clusters, derived from the Greek word argan meaning "ear of grain".[3]

Description[edit]

This species grows from 2 feet (0.61 m) to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and 1 foot (0.30 m) wide, in a clump-like, upright shape, with flowers appearing in showy verticillasters, or false whorls, and occasionally branching at the apex.[4] The leaves have an oval, toothed shape with a white tint underneath. The plant blooms in June to September with bright lavender flowers that become more colorful near the tip. The flowers produce no floral scent.[4] The root system produces a taproot.[2][5]

Uses[edit]

Anise hyssop was used medicinally by Native Americans for cough, fevers, wounds, diarrhea. The soft, anise-scented leaves[5] are used as a seasoning, as a tea, in potpourri, and can be crumbled in salad. The purple flower spike is favored by bees who make a light fragrant honey from the nectar.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c USDA PLANTS Profile for Agastache foeniculum
  2. ^ a b "Agastache foeniculum". Missouri Botanical Gardens. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Blue giant hyssop". Wildflower. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Anise hyssop". Illinois Wildflowers. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Agastache foeniculum (Anise hyssop)". Fine Gardening. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Herbs"; Smithsonian Handbook - Lesley Bremness