Maturity: 80 days
Grown by Friends of the Trees in Chimacum, Washington. Uncertified Organic, certification in progress.
Incredibly fragrant, Anise Hyssop was traditionally used medicinally by Native Americans of the Upper Midwest and Plains States where it grows wild for coughs, congestion, fevers, and wounds. Tall plants grow in clusters, throwing up sturdy square stems with vibrant green mint-like leaves that can get a purple tone. By the end of the season, plants can reach over 4' tall and each upright leaf spire will be topped with a spike of gorgeous dark purple flowers smelling strongly of sweet licorice. The blossoms pop open in intervals, providing a long season to feed and attract pollinators and makes a lightly flavored honey if you keep bees. Flowers and leaves can be used as a tea, spice, and eaten fresh.
FROM THE FARMERS
We have had limited success with Anise Hyssop as a perennial in our Zone 4b/5a garden depending on the snow pack and freeze/thaw that winter. In a dry fall, it has happily gone to seed and will self-seed readily. It smells incredible (if you like licorice) and we used it often in our fresh flower arrangements for market and eating during the season. We loved how well it dries for winter flower arrangements and our homegrown tea/medicine cabinet. Even if it only grows as an annual, Anise hyssop gets a lot of use during its season.