COMMON NAME: Lavender Hyssop, Anise Hyssop, Anise Mint, Licorice Mint
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Agastache foeniculum – The first part comes from Greek words
for “much” and “grain stalk” in reference to the flower spikes. Foeniculum is the
diminutive form of a Latin word meaning “hay” in reference to the smell.
FLOWER: 3-6 inch spikes of purple flowers in dense whorls
BLOOMING PERIOD: July to September
SIZE: 1 to 3 feet tall
BEHAVIOR: This is a biennial plant (blooms the second year). It seeds easily and
also spreads by rhizomes. It’s an excellent plant for open woodland and savannas,
as well as gardens and prairies. Note the square stems.
SITE REQUIREMENTS: Grows easily in average, well-drained soils in full sun to part
shade, but best in full sun. Not recommended for clay soils.
NATURAL RANGE: Northern United States, especially in Minnesota, North Dakota
and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In Wisconsin it is found in Dane County but is
most common in the northern sandy counties.
SPECIAL FEATURES: The leaves are anise scented, white underneath. Flowers
attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The flowers can also be dried and used
in permanent dried arrangements. Dried leaves are used in teas and potpourris. It
seems that the anise scent repels mammals so it is deer resistant.
SUGGESTED CARE: Water well to get established, but then the plants tolerate dry to
medium moisture. Deadhead spent flowers to promote additional bloom.
COMPANION PLANTS: White prairie clover, large Solomon’s seal, brown-eyed
Susan, heart-leafed golden alexander, coreopsis, bergamot, spiderwort, wild