Other Common Names:
- Blue giant hyssop, wild anise, fragrant giant hyssop
- Erect perennial, 60-105cm tall, with a light-green, square stem.
- Leaves are simple, opposite, up to 10cm long, with short petioles, heart-shaped or broadly lance-shaped, serrated, or with rounded teeth. Lower surface of leaves is white and downy. Crushed foliage smells like anise.
- Flowers form in terminal spikes at top of plant, spikes 2.5-15cm long, flowers purple, irregular, tube-like, .8cm long, with 4 long stamens. Not fragrant. Sepals are cup-like, blue/violet.
- Flowers produce a nutlet with a single tiny brown seed
- Pollinated primarily by bees
- All plants in the mint family have square stems, opposite leaves. Anise hyssop is distinguished by its large flower spike and anise-scented leaves.
- Purple giant hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia)
- Underside of leaves of purple giant hyssop are green, as opposed to white for anise hyssop.
- Sepals of purple giant hyssop are green, while those of anise hyssop are blue/violet.
- Foliage of purple giant hyssop is not anise-scented.
- Purple giant hyssop is not reported in Manitoba
- American goldfinches eat the seeds
- Bees are attracted to the flowers
- Mammals generally avoid the plant
- Leaves and flowers can be used to make an anise-flavoured tea, fresh or dried.
- Latin “foeniculum” means “fennel,” which has a similar taste and scent.