Agastache Species, Anise Hyssop, Giant Hyssop, Licorice Mint, Lavender Hyssop

Agastache foeniculum

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agastache (ah-gas-TAH-kee) (Info)
Species: foeniculum (fen-IK-yoo-lum) (Info) (fen-IK-yoo-lum) (Info)
Synonym:Agastache anethiodora
Synonym:Hyptis marathrosma
Synonym:Hyssopus anethiodorus
Synonym:Hyssopus anisatus
Synonym:Hyssopus foeniculum
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Ketchikan, Alaska

Mud Bay, Alaska

Saxman, Alaska

El Mirage, Arizona

Gravette, Arkansas

Elk Grove, California

Fair Oaks, California


La Jolla, California

Laguna Beach, California

Merced, California

Sacramento, California

Santa Rosa, California

Greeley, Colorado

New Milford, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Keystone Heights, Florida

Quincy, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Villa Rica, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Crystal Lake, Illinois

Itasca, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Schererville, Indiana

Cedar Falls, Iowa

Elk Horn, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Pacific Junction, Iowa

Sioux Center, Iowa

Lansing, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Ewing, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Lake Charles, Louisiana

West Monroe, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Brownfield, Maine

Calais, Maine

Falmouth, Maine

West Buxton, Maine

Halifax, Massachusetts

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Northfield, Massachusetts

Rutland, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts

Wales, Massachusetts

Westford, Massachusetts

Chippewa Lake, Michigan

Osseo, Michigan

Stanwood, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota(5 reports)

Marietta, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Kansas City, Missouri

Warsaw, Missouri

Helena, Montana

Imperial, Nebraska

Hudson, New Hampshire

North Walpole, New Hampshire

Spofford, New Hampshire

Bayville, New Jersey

Collingswood, New Jersey

Medford, New Jersey

Farmington, New Mexico

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Los Lunas, New Mexico

Hilton, New York

Himrod, New York

Ithaca, New York

Penn Yan, New York

Petersburg, New York

High Point, North Carolina

Jamestown, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Coshocton, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Richmond, Ohio

Westerville, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lebanon, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

White City, Oregon

Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Greeley, Pennsylvania

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Harmony, Rhode Island

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Brookings, South Dakota

Clarksville, Tennessee

Maryville, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Flower Mound, Texas

Gainesville, Texas

Houston, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

North Richland Hills, Texas

South Strafford, Vermont

Arlington, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Camano Island, Washington

Colville, Washington

Freeland, Washington

Grand Mound, Washington

Kalama, Washington

North Sultan, Washington

Rochester, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Sultan, Washington

Falling Waters, West Virginia

New Milton, West Virginia

Appleton, Wisconsin

Marinette, Wisconsin

Pulaski, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 25, 2016, Iridescent from Chantilly, VA wrote:

I agree with the many other comments giving so much praise for this excellent plant. Instead of gushing too about the many merits of this plant, I'd just say this: If you desire a pollinator paradise in your garden, how can you not plant Agastache foeniculum?

Pollinators seem to have a grand time visiting and enjoying this plant. People also get so much direct benefit from having this in their garden -- from having a supply of fresh leaves for a relaxing tisane tea to having a beautiful stand of tall fragrant green leaves and purple spires decorating the garden.


On Jan 26, 2016, Rockguy1 from Calgary,
Canada wrote:

I got this from Brecks about 5 years ago. The variety was called "Black Adder" but it looks like this one. What a plant, I love it! The first summer it grew from a small sprig into a 4' tall clump with about 50 flower spikes. Now it readily exceeds 6' every year with hundreds of spikes from mid July to mid September. No staking required. It's a great pollinator too, bees cover it the whole time. I'm in Zone 3b, but I haven't needed any mulch.


On Aug 11, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Easily cultivated in a sunny to partly sunny location in moist, well draining soil. Grows vigorously and flowers considerably in its first year, eventually forming a tall stand. This plant isn't just for the bees - the fragrant leaves possess considerable culinary potential (e.g. Vietnamese pho). This is one of the more easily cultivated, rewarding, ornamental herbals one can have in the garden.


On Jul 5, 2015, MGMellie from Douglasville, GA wrote:

This bee magnet of a plant also attracts butterflies and birds. Anise Hyssop sports beautiful blue blooms and has a delightful licorice taste and fragrance. The plant reseeds but not excessively, and makes a great tea.
This indispensable pollinator plant earned a permanent spot in my Zone 7B garden over thirty years ago.


On Feb 7, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A very good pollinator plant. Easy to grow in almost any sunny location. Doesn't need staking. The crushed foliage has the aroma of mint and licorice. A good number are sold at most native and regular nurseries.


On Jul 20, 2012, Gd6265 from Carbondale, PA wrote:

I live in northeast Pa. My mom bought 3 of these plants for me last year. I love the smell and i ended up planting them next to our deck. Well come april or may of this year i clipped all of them down to the bottom. (i did'nt think they would grow back. Well, let me tell you. They are growing like crazy. And they all are blooming allready. They are about chest high on me and i'm about 5'11". I just cant believe it. And its only mid July!
The only thing i did this year was pinch a lot of th to stems so they woul double up on the buds. I cant wait to see what the end of the summer will bring. I'm guessing close to 6'. I can't wait!


On May 16, 2012, l6blue from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I planted three of these in partial shade last year. This year, my bed is covered in seedlings. It's not a problem, though, as they are easy to pull. I love the anise scent, and the birds, bees, and butterflies love them.


On May 15, 2011, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

Zone 7A, Petersburg, Virginia. I have two agastaches growing near each other in a sunny location, one sort of a generic agastache and the other golden. The seedlings all seem to be golden, so I don't know if the green is slower to germinate or if the golden is dominant when they cross-pollinate. I will have to wait to see if the seedlings turn a darker green when they mature. This is the first year I've noticed seedlings at all, and I don't mind the plants' fertility because I am happy to have some to share.


On Apr 4, 2011, kct0 from Kansas City, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This volunteered itself beside the bird feeders...and I left it there just because I missed "weeding" it, then, once I realized it smelled like Anise, it was a keeper...weed or not ;) Imagine my surprise to find it can be used for teas and is so attractive to so many critters and birds, too and has a pretty flower spike, as well as fragrance? Well, it's a winner all around and might explain why the thistle feeder gets so little attention.

Finally took some seeds from it this season with the intention of spreading the plant around a little. I've found it easy to contain by just pulling any sprigs beyond where I want's original home...and it has not gotten out of hand at all.


On Jun 30, 2010, placands from Hilton, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown this perennial in my garden for years. It grows in full sun and also light shade. Enjoys dry soil even with neglect. It self sows prolifically. Flowers are a beautiful purple and the leaves are anise scented.


On Jun 30, 2010, merginglight from Gravette, AR wrote:

I started my plant by seeds I had purchased. Started in the house in the window and put outside in it's seed growing container when the weather warmed. The weather turned bad twice with snow storms, but I kept the seedlings outside anyway, under plastic. I had planted roughly nine seeds and only three came up and those seemed set back for a month or two. But, once the weather turned warm and then hot and stayed that way, the plants took off and are very healthy. This is my first experience with Anise Hyssop and today I've picked some mature leaves to have tea and am now sipping Anise Hyssop tea for the first time. My husband I and both enjoy the tea. I look forward to allowing the flowers to grow and to save seeds so to grow more next year and to give away to friends and family.


On May 15, 2010, CrabgrassCentrl from New Milford, CT wrote:

Terrific, no-maintenance plant. Here in CT it self-sows PROLIFICALLY. You could practically go into business selling them, and if you don't pull constantly it will take over the garden. The good news is it comes up easily, and I've given away tons of them, thrown away 10 times as many.


On Mar 17, 2010, gojo from Camano Island, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

It is the closest thing I have gotten to a perfect plant in my opinion. Looks good, smells good, tastes good and attracts numerous animals.


On Oct 10, 2009, Purna from Harmony, RI wrote:

i have a bed of this plant on a hillside that needed something to fill it in. the plants attracts honey bees and bumble bees mid summer and a dozen orioles late summer. northern rhode island.


On Sep 1, 2009, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

This plant grows at our local city part in a few places as a part of prairie plantings. Another kind of hyssop with a different flavor (more minty) is more common maybe Agastache scrophulariifolia.

Update: Two years ago (2009) I took some seeds from the park and sprinkled them in a pot of soil from the garden. After winter, they sprouted (2010), and I planted one seedling in a new garden patch in the middle of our lawn. The same year, it grew into a large bushy plant, aided by frequent watering and deep soil, and had many flowers, perpetually covered by bumblebees. The flowers are sweet and taste like licorice.

I had left other seedlings in the pot, and they didn't grow much larger. This year (2011), I moved them to places around the yard.


On Oct 28, 2008, kassy_51 from Marinette, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

In the fall, small birds love the seeds from it too. You will see them hanging on and eating the seeds. Most of mine are 6 feet tall here. I must be doing something right :-)


On Sep 17, 2008, gardenfinds from Tulsa, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I planted two small plants nine years ago and it has reseeded itself into a "grove" of hyssop! It's a late Summer bloomer and loved by butterflies, bees, wasps, etc. and smells great. It's pretty invasive but easy to pull out where you don't want it. I originally one in what I called the butterfly garden in a corner of the yard but turned that area into a veggie garden with five raised beds and the hyssop still comes back every year in those beds. Like I said, it's easy to pull out. It's a great plant for a large open area and likes a lot of sun.


On Jul 2, 2008, lemon_tree from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

I planted two of these about a foot apart last fall. Early on in March, one of them exploded in height and bloom. I assumed the other had died until one day in May when it suddenly appeared and has been growing like mad since. Crazy! As others have said, the butterflies and bees LOVE this stuff. I love the look and the smell. Haven't had any problems with reseeding (yet?). It definitely needs to be staked here, but I just leaned it up against a small trellis on one side and it seems to stay up. A great plant for the cottage garden!


On Jul 4, 2007, dkm65 from Cedar Falls, IA (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have mixed reactions to this plant. On the good side, it definitely is loved by a wide range of pollinators and flowers long and vigorously. It grows well from seed (cold, moist stratification dramatically improves germination), and flowers the first year. If you need a U.S. prairie native that will give you quick results in a new planting, this is definitely a winner. It has an fairly strong anise scent which many like.

The reason for my neutral is that it is an incredibly prolific self-seeder and can overwhelm a garden or bed very quickly. While it doesn't spread aggressively by rhizomes, it is very aggressive, and needs vigilant pulling of seedlings to keep it in check. I'd discourage someone planting more than a couple per 100 sq. feet, and even then you'll have ... read more


On Nov 29, 2006, Rotegard from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

Our anise hyssop patch is 2 years + in the Minneapolis LaSalle Community garden and very hardy here in zone 4. The flowers and leaves have a black licorice odor that is unrivaled. for bees and butterflies .. In 2005 we harvested much of the foliage for a fine melissa/agastache tea served at the Barebones Halloween festival.. Mixed with chocolate mint it is the basis for a pungent licorice cordial. .


On Oct 17, 2006, vcfgb from Lansing, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a native, drought tolerant plant in the mint family. I planted a couple small clumps from divisions, and they have done very well -- over 4 feet tall! The long spikes flower from mid-summer right through fall, and as someone else noted, the goldfinches really like the seeds. Bumblebees and various beneficial insects are attracted to this plant. The leafs in spring and summer have a nice purplish tint and smell wonderful. The seeds easily knock out when mature; I have started some by simply sprinkling them in a pot with potting mix/soil and leaving it out overwinter. I had a nice potted plant for outdoors the next year. Having left the pot out overwinter again, the plant survived and did well another year! I think it only got some fallen maple leafs for fertiliser. Use its ... read more


On Jun 9, 2006, pajaritomt from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a lovely plant with a fragrance that cannot be beat. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds hang out around it. The purple flower is delightful. I find I have to pull up quite a few of these each year. If I didn't pull them, Anise Hyssop would be my only garden flower! The extra seedlings aren't a big problem, though. I can easily tolerate them for the plant's many merits.


On May 31, 2006, fmanddk from Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Planted from seed many years ago. In the fall noticed from the back porch that it seemed covered in yellow. Upon closer examination, realized it was covered in goldfinches! Every fall since then the goldfinches descend to feed on the tiny seeds. It's fun to watch. The leaves make great tea, esp. combined with Bee Balm leaves.


On Mar 13, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I read a book that said it might be hardy to zone 2. It's a bit of pain to pull up seedlings as they threaten to take over smaller perennials. They seem to accept part shade, too but strongly prefer light shade (my garden rarely get any more than five or six hours of sun so is estimated as light shade). I think most if not all of the plants has the mint scent, as the smell of anise wasn't noticed. (I compare the scent to a rare speciment of anise magnolia on the Minnesota Arboretum which of course smell like anise).


On Feb 3, 2006, srczak from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

In addition to all the other notes, I've found this plant throwing some seedlings which don't smell like anise at all, but like strong, pungent mint; maybe 5-10 percent of the seedlings. Interesting. Love the plant for all reasons given.


On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a very prolific self-seeder, but it sure smells nice to pull. This is a special treat for my pet rabbits; I give them a lot of my pruning/weeding scraps for them to process into fertilizer!

I have read that it is hardy in zones 4-10. Stratification aids germination of seeds.


On Jan 10, 2006, ViolaAnn from Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

I LOVE licorice. Often chew a leaf or two of this plant for my licorice fix. Self seeds readily. The only trouble is the seedlings look a lot like lemon balm which has threatened to take over my garden in the past and I sometimes weed them out too quickly.


On Jun 11, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a lovely plant for the back of of the herb garden or flower border. The licorice-scented leaves & purplish-blue flowers make a nice addition to herb teas or as garnishes for fruit salads & other summer desserts.

Very easy to grow, as it tolerates a wide range of conditions. I've had it in full sun to light shade, & from good soil to hard-packed areas beneath large deciduous trees & it has performed admirably in both places. Although in some instances the original plant hasn't returned after a few years (perhaps it is naturally a short-lived perennial?), it self-sows so prodigiously that there are always new seedlings to take its place.


On Jun 10, 2005, BettyAlready from Petersburg, NY wrote:

Found it by chance at a local nursery--planted it and loved it. It's coming back beautifully this year. I am planning on planting more.


On Jan 16, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

This self-sowing, perennial herb has licorice-scented leaves that are nice in teas. The tall spikes of lavender-blue flowers are pretty, and they attract beneficial insects.


On Nov 2, 2004, nevrest from Broadview, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

Anise hyssop grows wild here in Saskatchewan (Zone 3). Grows 2 - 3 ft tall here in the wild.
In the garden it gets larger. The bees loves it.


On Nov 1, 2004, RikerBear from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Easily grown from seed or from starts. Root easily in water.
Smells awesome, just like "Good and Plenty" candy.


On Aug 23, 2004, walksaved from Spokane, WA wrote:

Bees love it. It's grown 3 feet plus three years in a row. It wants to flop once it's loaded with blooms but it's easy to band the tidy stalks. Smells good. Looks great. Nice blush on the spring growth.


On Jun 29, 2004, elbeegee from Flower Mound, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Here in North Texas, the agastache foeniculum planted last spring has come back into bloom. We are having a very cool, wet summer so far and it is not enjoying the damp. I believe when temps rise and things dry out a bit it will be happier. The butterflies prefer this plant to all others in our garden, including butterfly bush!


On May 24, 2004, ccwales from Wales, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

A plant from a friend, last year it was about 3' tall and beautiful. Self sows very readily (even over our unusually cold winter); I see over 100 babies sprouting up everywhere. A wonderful plant. Colorful, pretty leaves (which you can use to make tea), and should be easy to control by pulling up the seedlings.


On Jul 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant grows 6' tall for me. The flowers are not showy, but the bees love it, and it smells good. Leaves and flowers are good in tea and potpourri. Self-seeds prolifically. The first year from seed, it will get 4' tall and bloom.


On Jan 22, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

The plant tends to flop unless grown in full sun, requiring staking.


On Nov 19, 2002, meindert wrote:

Honeybees are attracted to the flowers,agastache is known by beekeepers as one of the best honeyplants !


On Aug 17, 2002, BJT72 from Perrysburg, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

Very fragrant, like licorice, its a very neat and tidy plant and quite long-lived.


On Mar 8, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Herbaceous perennial, bears its purple flowers in late summer. The foliage is aromatic as implied by the common name and the flowers and leaves are both edible. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil. Self sows readily.