Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Anise Hyssop, Licorice Mint
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 anisata
Synonym:Stachys foeniculum

13 vendors have this plant for sale.

65 members have or want this plant for trade.

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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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

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32 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb 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.

Positive Gd6265 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!

Positive l6blue 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.

Positive wendymadre 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.

Positive kct0 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.

Positive placands 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.

Positive merginglight 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.

Positive CrabgrassCentrl 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.

Positive gojo 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.

Positive Purna 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.

Positive Erutuon 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.

Positive kassy_51 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 :-)

Positive gardenfinds 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.

Positive lemon_tree 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!

Neutral dkm65 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 to work to keep it from overwhelming less vigorous forbs.

Positive Rotegard 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. .

Positive vcfgb 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 leafs as an alternative to mint in beverages or a garnish. It does best in full sun, and often its lower leafs fall off, so something shorter planted in front can help hide bare stems. Give the licorice mint room though, as it can spread 2 feet across, or even more as the heavy flowering spikes lean out in all directions. It looks great swaying in the wind, which it can take a fair amount of.

Positive pajaritomt 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.

Positive fmanddk 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.

Neutral Malus2006 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).

Positive srczak 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.

Neutral Gabrielle 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.

Positive ViolaAnn 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.

Positive Breezymeadow 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.

Positive BettyAlready 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.

Positive LilyLover_UT 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.

Positive nevrest 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.

Positive RikerBear 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.

Positive walksaved 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.

Positive elbeegee 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!

Positive ccwales 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.

Positive Ladyfern 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.

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

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

Positive meindert On Nov 19, 2002, meindert wrote:

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

Positive BJT72 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.

Positive Terry 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.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (4 reports)
Auburn, Alabama
Ketchikan, Alaska
El Mirage, Arizona
Gravette, Arkansas
Elk Grove, California
Fair Oaks, California
Garberville, 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
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Elk Horn, Iowa
Iowa City, 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
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
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
Houston, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
North Richland Hills, Texas
South Strafford, Vermont
Arlington, Virginia
Camano Island, Washington
Colville, Washington
Freeland, Washington
Kalama, Washington
North Sultan, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Falling Waters, West Virginia
New Milton, West Virginia
Appleton, Wisconsin
Marinette, Wisconsin
Pulaski, Wisconsin

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