Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum) is rated as the Herb of the Year of 2019 by the International Herb Association. This herb possesses a wide range of medicinal benefits, including healing burn, relieving stress and congestion, pains from excessive coughing and curing summer colds and diarrhea.

Due to its superb medicinal uses, it is planted in all places in the U.S. Apart from the medical aspect, Anise Hyssop’s flower also has an attractive appearance which can lighten up your day.

If you are intending to plant a garden of Anise Hyssop and want to know more about this useful plant, take a glance at our article. In this article, we’ll provide you numerous information about Anise Hyssop’s necessary information, features, medicinal uses, planting tips. Let’s get started!

Basic Information About Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum)

Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum) is an herbaceous perennial with vibrant purple or blue flowers. It smells of a licorice scent. Even though its last name is hyssop, it belongs to the family Labiatae (a type of mint). Several people thought it belongs to the carrot family (Apiaceae) due to its hyssop name.

Scientists always call this herb as Agastache Foeniculum. Apart from Anise Hyssop or Agastache Foeniculum, it is also called by a couple of names such as giant lavender hyssop, fragrant giant hyssop or giant blue hyssop.

It is native to dry upland forested and prairies areas, fields and plains in the upper Great Plains and Midwest into Canada.


Anise Hyssop is effortlessly identifiable thanks to its oval-shaped and jagged opposite leaves and vibrant purple flowers with the mint-liked smell. Its mature leaves can grow up to 2 inches wide and 4 inches long.

Like a lavender flower, Anise Hyssop’s flowers have a spiky and upright formation which can reach 6 inches tall. A mature plant can reach 4 feet tall and 1 foot wide. It usually blooms in the summertime, from June to September.

Like other plants of the mint plant family, Anise Hyssop also possesses alternate leaves on the square stems. Its foliage remains awesome looking through all seasons. For the new growth leaves, purplish casts may exist sometimes.

Its flowers have a blue-purple gradient color. The flowers tend to have the blue color at the bottom of the spike, and the purple hue at the top. The tiny flowers blossom in dense, tightly packed together. They can reach up to 6 inches long.

As it belongs to the mint family, each tubular flower also has 2 lips. The lower lip has 2 tiny lateral lobes and 1 larger central lobe.

Flowers’ fragrance has copious medicinal benefits, especially in relieving stress. Hence, it is one of the most common herbs in the American’s garden.


This plant originates from the United States. People first discovered it in prairie areas of the Midwestern states. Some of the plants also appeared in several places in Canada. After a hundred years, Americans have realized its medicinal uses and started planting it everywhere.

It lives well in the middle of perennial borders, wildflower gardens, herb gardens, cottage gardens as well as in prairies and meadows. It also flourishes in small clumps, drifts, and masses. It can live well with other natives such as goldenrods, biennial, bee balm, false sunflower, purple coneflower, and native grasses.


Anise Hyssop has numerous uses. You can add its aromatic leaves in herbal teas, or eat fresh in an inconsiderable quantity such as in a salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber or to flavor jellies. 

Making tea with added fresh Anise Hyssop leaves in hot water will create an attractive flavor thanks to its slight natural sweetness lending well to desserts.

Americans always add Anise Hyssop into mixed fruit for jams and jellies. It pairs well with fruits such as berries, apricots, and peaches. Some cake lovers pure Anise Hyssop in cream or milk for ice creams, custards, chocolate butter cookies or panna cotta.

Additionally, you can make a sweet-smelling sachet to your lovely home as the peppermint scent in the Anise Hyssop leaves is highly delightful.

Its dried leaves are usually used in potpourri. Its leaves and flowers are highly beneficial in treating fevers, diarrhea, coughs, and wounds. To retain dried leaves and flowers’ scent, you should keep them in the refrigerator in a resealable plastic bag.

People regularly harvest the foliage when the flowers have just passed their full bloom. At that time, the percentage of oil in the leaves will be the highest.

All things considered, Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum) possesses a wide range of benefits which can satisfy everyone. Growing a cluster of Anise Hyssop not only brings you a fresh mint air but also gives you a natural medicine when needed. Below are some growing tips in case you need it.

Growing Tips

You are suffering from digestive troubles, ailment, or illness frequently, don’t worry, Anise Hyssop will help you handle all of these problems. Instead of buying it, you can grow it by yourself.

People usually grow Anise Hyssop from seed. This herb is suitable for rock wool. Hence, you should start seeds in rockwool. They tend to germinate from 1 to 4 weeks and grow fast in cold weather with moist temperatures with copious of sun.

Anise Hyssop develops well under direct sunlight. What is more, this herb attracts numerous hummingbirds, pollinators, and bees. Hence, after the growing season, you’ll find other fruiting plants produce fruits more often and quickly.

It grows in clusters and can reach up to 4 feet in height. Hence, it is ideal for adding enough amount of seeds per rockwool cube not to let the plants crowded.

Differences between Anise and Anise Hyssop

Anise and Anise Hyssop can make people confused. Ture hyssop flowers and Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum) share the same taste and appearance. However, they come from entirely different roots.

While Anise natively comes from North America, Hyssop originates from Europe. What is more, hyssop has medicinal benefits, which don’t happen in anise. 

Anise, (Pimpinella anisum) is an annual herb of the parsley family (Apiaceae), famous for its seeds called aniseed, native to Eastern Mediterranean region and South-east Asia, While anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), is a perennial herb of the Lamiaceae, or mint family, native to Northwestern USA, cultivated for its flowers & leaves for their fragrance & taste.

Both plants have variable heights; Anise grows to a maximum height of 3 feet while anise hyssop may go up to 5 feet tall.

Anise plant has simple, feather like leaf structure having number of short flower stalks originating from a common point and produces white seeds, whereas anise hyssop plants have oval, tooth like leaves and produces clusters of tiny lavender-blue flowers.

Anise plants get mature & ready to harvest after 120 days of the transplants, anise hyssop is an early blooming to get mature in 60 days after being transplanted, from early summers to first frost.

Anise plants have capability to thrive well in full sunlight with abundant water needs whereas anise hyssop does well in full sun & partial-shades, and is well tolerant to droughts.

Apart from so many differences, only one thing common in both plants is their licorice taste which creates confusion for identifying them into two different family plants.

Key Features Of Anise Hyssop

Attract Bird, Butterflies, And Bees

Blooming Anise Hyssop is a great treasure for a bunch of birds and pollinating creatures, especially honeybees. Interestingly, its flower has no scent. Pollinated flowers generate oval-shaped and smooth seeds and fruit, which is technically nutlets. 

Anise Hyssop Flowers are shaped in a way, which provide the best landing platform for visiting insects and forces them to touch anthers and stigmas, in their attempt to get food from the this plant.

Anise Hyssop anise is cross pollinated Plant that relays on bees, beetles, butterflies, birds & moths for reproduction and that’s the reason it has made its appearance worth attracting for these, day & night visitors, to carry on its multiplication.

Anise Hyssop produces around 90000 blue-lavender flowers on a single spike which attracts pollinators to visit pollen & nectar, flowers scent also plays vital role in attracting some bees & Beetles.

Anise Hyssop contains, another important chemical (Methyle eugenol) which possesses antibacterial & antifungal properties & is biggest attraction for the bees to visit them. Methyle eugenol acts as active chemical defense against pathogens & deters the behavior of the insects, visiting any plant. Bees move on to different parts of the plant or plants of the same family due the presence of a typical scent on these plants. A bee, ultimately visits several plants to suck nectars, collecting pollen from one plant, leaving them on to the stigma of another plant to continue the process of cross pollination. Moths appear during the night due to presence of the same scent, and help in performing the function of cross-pollination.

Humming birds always dominate on Hyssop anise due the florescence color & arrangement of grains which become easy for them to crawl from one spike to another to feed on & keep on pollinating other neighboring plants.

Nutritional Value

Like other herbs, Anise Hyssop has abundant nutritional value. Several recent studies show that its essential oil contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Its essential oil also has limonene, which plays a vital role in promoting a healthy digestive tract and neutralizing stomach acid.

What is more, Anise Hyssop is famous for its methyl chavicol, which is popularly used to season beverages such as liqueurs, root beer, and several perfumes.


Anise Hyssop leaves possess a strong fragrance, a perfect combination of mint and licorice. Some people think it smells like crushed fennel seeds. Unlike other herbs which smell sweet and pleasant but taste a little bitter, this herb is surprisingly sweet. It is put in hot tea to deliver a natural sweetness.

Anise Hyssop Is A Perennial Or Annual Plant?

Annul plants have the tendency to grow through only one cropping season as they die on the arrival of falls. Whereas, the perennials start sprouts again on arrival of conducive environment and there is no need to re-plant them at all.

Hyssop anise is a perennial plant & has capability to start sprouting on arrival of springs every year, that’s why, this plant is considered ideal for making fences and borderlines around the landscapes for stunning looks.

It is also widely grown for pastures & grazing lands to maintain a balance feeding pattern for the live stock & wild life.

Types of Anise Hyssop

Blue Blazes

It is a taller version of Agastache and A. Foeniculum which was introduced by High Country Gardens. It has glowing lavender-purple blooms and pinkish calyxes

Blue Fortune

It is a sterile hybrid of A.rugosa and A. Foeniculum, which is generated in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Its appearance is pretty different from the original Anise Hyssop.

It has deep green leaves and very thick spikes and blue flowers. It possesses a bigger size than Anise Hyssop. A mature plant can grow up to 18 inches wide and 3 feet tall.

It usually blooms fully in midsummer. The flowers normally last longer compared to other flowers of A. Foeniculum as it sets no seeds.


It has white flowers and lighter green foliage. It isn’t as bushy as the species

Black Adder

Other people say that this is a “less vigorous” version of Anise Hyssop. However, we think that it has its unique beauty. It comes with red-violet flowers and dark buds.

Golden Jubilee

This is the most outstanding hybrid of A. foeniculum. It is selected as an All American Selection Winner of 2003. Golden Jubilee turns bright yellow in spring and has lavender-blue flowers.

Medical uses of Agastache Foeniculum(Anise Hyssop)

Anise Hyssop is planted in numerous places in the US due to its amazing and diversified medicinal purposes.

Anise Hyssop is a famous perennial herb which possesses numerous benefits. It also gains fame in the herbalist community. Below are several common medicinal uses of Agastache Foeniculum:

  • People used to add it in cold remedies and tea. This remedy is highly beneficial in relieving congestion and easing pains from excessive coughing.
  • Several new research show that Anise Hyssop’s essential oil acts as antivirus of Herpes simplex I and II.
  • This herb possesses an uplifting fragrance, which makes it perfect for depression treatment. Whenever we get stress or depression, we usually make a cup of Anise Hyssop tea and listen to music for a while. Surprisingly, all the anxiety and tension gradually vanish.
  • AgastacheFoeniculum’s poultice is a home remedy to heal minor and first-degree burns.
  • It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which make it useful for summer colds and diarrhea.
  • Some people also take a bath in Anise Hyssop leaves for fungal conditions and treating sunburn.

To sum up, this wonderful herb brings loads of medicinal benefits. Growing it in your backyard is a great idea. As it not only brings you a vibrant purple flower garden which easily attracts butterflies, pollinating bees and hummingbirds but also rewards you natural “medicine”.


To sum up, in this article, we provided lots of information related to the Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum), including its appearance, medicinal benefits, key features, and some tips to plant this precious herb.

Hopefully, after taking a glance at our article, you can grasp useful information and get started to plant your own Anise Hyssop garden. Thank you so much for taking your valuable time to read the whole article.

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