Anise Hyssop

I have containers planted with flowers, a cherry tomato, some mesclun, and herbs at the back porch door. The compositions are nothing formal. I fill the pots with mostly useful plants, with full knowledge that most of what is grown there will not be harvested, which is fine. They’re pretty to look at. The herbs, especially, are fragrant, their flowers beloved by bees and butterflies, and they tolerate my erratic watering. Once in awhile I use a leave or two, or find a ripe cherry tomato. Somehow, that’s deeply satisfying.

This year I looked for a tall plant to anchor a large pot. I found an anise hyssop at the nursery, which is not something that I was familiar with. I read the tag. Tall, purple blooms, edible. I brought it home. I lucked out. This member of the mint family tolerates drought, dissuades deer, and thrives despite my lack of consistent care. The leaves are delicious. I often pluck one to chew on as I go about my chores. It’s sweet, with a light licorice flavor.

The flowers are also edible. But I’m leaving them for the bees.

anise hyssop

Anise hyssop


  1. I have peppermint and spearmint growing in my yard. This stuff spreads like wild fire so be careful, my plantings are in area that when it spreads it gets mowed. Makes a great aroma.
    I love to make tea with mine. I also will just pick some and place it in a pot of water on the stove and boil. Makes the whole house smell good.

  2. This is a wonderful herb and a staple in my herb garden. There is a pink, or white or purple variety. As ken said it spreads but Iseem to be able to keep in contained. I also use for teas. Also good in dried form with peas.. Basically anything you would use mint in hyssop can be used. Enjoy!

  3. Mmmmm. Haven’t grown this in years. Definitely need to look this up next spring. Such a lovely picture. I love bumbles! :)