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13 Different Types of Anise Hyssop Flowers


Learn more about the 13 different types of Anise Hyssop Flowers, what makes them different from each other, where they usually grow and the conditions to make them thrive.

Since spring is here, lots of homeowners will be thinking about what flowers to plant around their homes. Some go for pretty, bright annuals while others go for perennials that come up every year. There are other homeowners that prefer wildflowers for their borders or just to be there.

Anise hyssop flowers resemble the wildflowers found on the plains and sometimes beside highways. They’re a favored place for bees to stop by for a drop or two of nectar, a pretty place made even prettier by butterflies and birds, and even rabbits love to nibble at their foliage. Are there different types of anise hyssop flowers? What are their characteristics?

Table of Contents

Anise Hyssop Or Agastache “Blue Boa”

Agastache foeniculum is a bushy, tall plant from the mint family. The leaves have a licorice (anise) scent used in tea, jellies, and salad greens. Even the flowers are edible. The herbal plant has been used medicinally since ancient times by the Native Americans.

The plant is frequently harvested for drying and used as potpourri and as herbal remedies. The right time to harvest the plants is just after the flowers have hit full bloom. This is when the essential oils in the plant are at their most potent.

The plants are like magnets, drawing hummingbirds as well as other types of birds, bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and even rabbits to their irresistibleness. Deer, though, aren’t as captivated with anise hyssop leaves as the others. Anise hyssop “blue boa” characteristics are:

  • being a perennial. Its seeds self-propagate along with being pollinated by bees and birds
  • it grows well in partial shade to the full sun
  • the plant grows in both moist and dry conditions, tolerating drought as well as wet soils if the drainage is good
  • the plant grows well in growing zones four and nine. Although it performs at its best in the arid regions and in the plains or forested areas of the Midwest and Canada, it grows just as well in other parts of the country depending on the dryness and moisture
  • blue boa grows two-three feet tall and spreads one to two feet wide.

The blooming season is from early summer to late fall. The blooms are a beautiful blue-purple that closely resembles the lavender plant. Curiously, the blooms have no scent; it’s the foliage with the wonderful aroma. I, personally, love wildflowers, and I love any shade of purple, so this plant would definitely be in my yard (if I had one!)

Giant Hyssop Or Agastache “Blue Fortune”

Found mostly in the Eastern U.S. From Maine to Georgia, the giant hyssop or “blue fortune” offers essential oils used in aromatherapies and as herbal medicines. The roots were once used as an infusion for a diuretic. Flavonoids, too, are on offer from this pretty plant.

Goldfinches and hummingbirds and bees of all types can be found enjoying giant hyssop nectars. Anything that pollinates, like butterflies, is attracted to giant hyssop “blue fortune.”

Giant hyssop is similar to the “blue boa” type of hyssop as far as looks go. However, the leaves are somewhat furry and pointed, heart-shaped, and white on the undersides. These plants, though, offer scent from both leaves and flowers which are fuzzy and lavender-blue. Giant hyssop “blue fortune” characteristics are:

  • being a perennial. Its seeds can be planted, plants divided and replanted, or pollinated by birds and bees
  • prefer dappled to full shade
  • this plant grows best in the ground that’s been disturbed. Since it grows best in forested areas or open fields, it can’t take competition and must be re-established in disturbed soil
  • that can’t handle hot, dry weather. This plant must have water with good drainage
  • performs well in any area except dry zone nine. Best suited to forested areas and open fields
  • it grows up to six feet tall which makes it an excellent plant for fences. The flowers are one to six inches, but they don’t all bloom at the same time.

This plant’s prime time is in the fall with its blooms blooming all winter. This is a pretty plant, but it’s better suited to wooded areas and fenced open fields.

Giant Hyssop Or Agastache “Black Adder”

If Agastache rugosum and Agastache foeniculum had a baby, it would be Agastache “black adder.” A hybrid plant, rugosa is also known as Korean mint and is grown in East Asia. Combined with Agastache foeniculum, it produces a stunning hardy plant that draws the usual birds and the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Many homeowners establish “cottage gardens,” butterfly gardens, and gardens specifically for bees to use for pollination. Borders around lawns, patios, and walkways, and stone paths look wonderful side by side with these plants. “Black adder” characteristics are:

  • perennial
  • prefers full sun
  • does better in USDA zone six to nine. If deep winter is difficult, the plant should be protected in southern areas
  • that tolerate well the heat as well as some dry, sandy soils
  • grow up to three feet tall with a two-foot spread

Black adder is a hybrid featuring a black base from which reddish-purple blooms grow. The leaves are blueish-green and have a trademark anise aroma. It blooms from summer to late fall, and winter doesn’t bother it. It’s a stunning plant.

Agastache Bolero Or Hummingbird Mint

This is a low-lying plant with a sort of bronze-green leaves and a rosy purple bloom. They draw hummingbirds like magic, hence the name. Other pollinators find these pretty flowers attractive, too.

If you don’t have a yard in which to plant wondrously pretty plants and flowers, this plant thrives in containers. If you’re the rock garden type, plant this. It loves rock gardens. Bolero’s characteristics are:

  • perennial
  • loves full sun
  • does better in sandy, chalky soil with good drainage and with dry to average watering
  • performs well in all zones
  • grows up to two feet tall with a two-foot spread

The hummingbird mint might draw the birds and bees, but deer and rabbits don’t appreciate it. That’s alright, though, because your garden will look amazing with this pretty plant in it.

Kudos Ambrosia Hummingbird Mint Or Agastache Kudos Ambrosia

Now we come to the category of hyssop known as Kudos. These are in recent years horticulturalists-bred Agastache plants. It began with David Salman’s Agastache rupestris or licorice mint hyssop. When his High Country Gardens catalog began carrying it, others jumped on the bandwagon to breed their versions.

Agastache Kudos are known for their dwarf, bushy aspect, their bright colors, an improved life in cold areas of the country in addition to a wider swath of the country, and their capability of surviving hot, humid summers. A truly remarkable achievement,

Agastache Kudos Ambrosia characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • prefers full sun
  • must have well-drained soil for proper nutrition
  • performs well in USDA zones five through ten
  • grows around two feet tall and two feet wide

Kudos Ambrosia attracts pollinators of all types. We are drawn to it for its stunning colors of bright pink, orange, and white.

Kudos Hummingbird Mint or Agastache Kudos Coral

Beginning with orange buds that bloom into a pretty coral pink flower, Agastache Kudos Coral is a beautiful addition to any garden. Blooming from mid-summer to mid-fall, its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • loves full sun
  • prefers dry normal to sandy soil
  • does well in zone four into areas where the winters are dry
  • grows one and a half foot tall with a one and half foot spread

This pretty plant does well in containers and borders. It attracts the usual suspects in pollinators and is deer and rabbit resistant. Its scent is like sweet honey.

Agastache Hummingbird Mint Or Agastache Kudos Gold

For a basically lavender to purple flower, golden is an unusual color. Kudos Gold, though, turns a beautiful goldenrod color that attracts the birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • loves full sun
  • does well in normal to sandy, loamy soil
  • performs well in USDA zones five to ten
  • grows 16 inches tall with a spread of 20 inches

This pretty flower blooms from late spring into early fall. They have a mint-licorice-honey smell attractive to everyone. It grows well in containers and as border plantings. It’s deer and rabbit resistant.

Agastache Hummingbird Mint Or Agastache Kudos Mandarin

Unusual in anise hyssop flowers are bright orange. Its thick clumps of glowing color bloom from early summer to early fall. It has a pleasant aroma and draws pollinators of all types, but not deer or rabbits. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • full sun
  • not much water
  • grows well in normal to sandy soil
  • performs well in zones five to ten
  • grows a foot and half tall and slightly less wide

Agastache Hummingbird Mint Or Agastache Kudos Silver Blue

Blooming with a light, silvery blue flower from early summer to fall, this pretty plant attracts pollinators. It also attracts deer and rabbits. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • full sun
  • normal watering
  • grows well in sandy, chalky soil
  • performs well in zones five to ten
  • grows up to two feet tall and up to three feet wide

Alabaster Or Agastache Foeniculum Alabaster

A giant hyssop or Hyssopus officinalis, to put it scientifically, the Alabaster plant features pretty white blooms from the middle of summer to early fall. With a licorice scent, this pretty flower draws pollinators, but they’re not attractive to deer and rabbits. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • full sun
  • normal watering
  • grows well in sandy, chalky soil
  • grows well in zones four to ten
  • grows up to three feet tall and two feet wide

These plants do well in herb gardens, butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, and borders. The leaves are edible and are frequently used in salads and in herbal tea.

Blue Blazes Agastache

Carried in the High Country Gardens catalog and bred by Colorado’s Kelly Grummons, this hybrid is a cross between Agastache foeniculum and Salman’s Agastache Desert Sunrise. It features blazing lavender-purple blooms that color your garden from mid-summer to fall, drawing pollinators to it. It’s deer and rabbit resistant. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • full sun
  • not much water
  • normal, well-drained soil
  • grows well in zones five to nine
  • grows to just under five feet tall with almost three feet spread

Agastache Golden Jubilee Or Agastache Rugosa (Korean Mint)

Chartreuse isn’t a shade of green you’d expect to find in your garden, but if you go with this lavender-blue flower, that’s what you’ll get. With leaves of an anise scent, you’ll love them from mid-summer until early fall. It draws pollinators but isn’t attractive to deer and rabbits. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • partial to full sun
  • normal watering
  • sandy, chalky soil but well-drained
  • grows well in zones four to ten
  • grows three feet tall with a two-foot spread

Agastache Purple Haze

Another hybrid from horticulturist David Salman of High Country Garden catalogs, this deep blue-violet flower blooms for most of the summer. Fragrant flowers and leaves draw pollinators but not deer and rabbits. Its characteristics are:

  • perennials
  • full sun
  • not much water
  • normal but well-drained soil
  • grows well in zones six to ten
  • grows three feet tall with a three-foot spread


How Do You Plant Anise Hyssop Seeds?

A. Foeniculum seeds require light and moisture for germination, so cover them lightly. It doesn’t need staking but beware of too wet soil. Root rot and powdery mildew are things for which to keep an eye.

Can You Use The Dried Flowers?

The dried herb can be used the same way you use any herb. Sprinkle it on roasted potatoes, roasted meats like lamb, use it in soups, make tea with it, and with anything else you would use dried herbs, especially herbal tea.

Can You Eat Hyssop Leaves?

Yes. This versatile little guy can be used in just about any food from tea to jams and jellies and from baking into bread to puddings and ice cream. It is minty, after all, so cooking it with veggies like carrots and soups and stocks.

How Do You Make Anise Hyssop Tea?

Boil your water. Add the leaves and turn down the heat for the leaves to steep. After about ten minutes, pour your strained tea into a cup. You’ll not need sugar or honey, as the licorice mint flavor will be all the sweetness you need. It even tastes peppermint-y.

What Is The Difference Between Hyssop And Anise Hyssop?

The two words are relatively the same, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same plant. The flowers and foliage look and taste much the same, however, one grows in Europe and the other in North America. True hyssop has medicinal properties that anise does not so make very sure which genus you’re getting before you reach for your wallet.

True hyssop is used mainly for colds, flu, bronchitis, and sinus problems. Mainly as a tea, true hyssop thins out mucus helps with congestion and makes the symptoms of colds and flu less uncomfortable.

If That’s The Case, What Is Anise Hyssop Good For?

Anise has its own health benefits such as an infusion for soaking in the tub. In a cheesecloth hung from the faucet, let the herbs get into the bathwater. It’s good for soaking away a sore, tired body or just soak away the stress of the day.

Sprinkling the leaves on your pillow beneath the pillowcase has been known to chase away nightmares and give you sweet dreams.

Anise, too, is used for colds and flu, usually in tea. It’s been known to loosen phlegm, help with congestion, and lessen the stress of colds, flu, and sinus problems.

Is Anise Hyssop Dangerous For Dogs?

In moderation, no. If cats love catnip, dogs go crazy for anise. It’s used on the artificial rabbit used in dog racing. The licorice scent excites dogs. Make an essential oil out of anise and sprinkle it on their toys or their dog treats. Just be aware that too much can upset Fido’s tummy or adversely affect his nervous system.

What Does The Bible Say About Hyssop?

The herb is mentioned in many places in the Book. John 19:29-30 tells us that “a jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to His mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said “it is finished,” and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

Psalm 51:7 says, “purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Numbers 19:6 tells us “and the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and throw them into the fire burning the heifer.”


Wisconsin Horticulture: Anise hyssop, Agastache foeniculum

USDA NRCS: Purple Giant Hyssop

Missouri Botanical Garden: Agastache ‘Black Adder’

Gardenia: Agastache Bolero (Hummingbird Mint) Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’

High Country Gardens: Kudos™ Gold Agastache

High Country Gardens: Kudos™ Mandarin Agastache

Gardenia: Agastache Kudos Silver Blue

Gardenia: Agastache foeniculum Alabaster

High Country Gardens: Blue Blazes Agastache

Gardenia: Agastache rugosa Golden Jubilee

High Country Gardens: Purple Haze Agastache

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