Agastache Species, Rock Anise-Hyssop, Hummingbird Mint

Agastache rupestris

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Agastache (ah-gas-TAH-kee) (Info)
Species: rupestris (rue-PES-tris) (Info)
Synonym:Brittonastrum lanceolatum
Synonym:Brittonastrum rupestre
Synonym:Cedronella rupestris
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



This plant is resistant to deer


Foliage Color:




24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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:



Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

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

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

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; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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

Chino Valley, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Concord, California

Knights Landing, California

Redding, California

Richmond, California

San Jose, California

Aurora, Colorado

Denver, Colorado(2 reports)

Dolores, Colorado

Washington, District of Columbia

Cape Coral, Florida

Land O' Lakes, Florida

Lula, Georgia

Itasca, Illinois

Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Pacific Junction, Iowa

Hebron, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Ellicott City, Maryland

Boston, Massachusetts

Dracut, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Topsfield, Massachusetts

Horton, Michigan

Lincoln, Nebraska

Hudson, New Hampshire

Kingston, New Hampshire

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Tijeras, New Mexico

La Fayette, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Bend, Oregon

Hermiston, Oregon

Molalla, Oregon

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Northampton, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Cibolo, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

Temple, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Santaquin, Utah

Herndon, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Radford, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 17, 2010, wildmudpuppy from Lula, GA wrote:

Three Sunset Hyssops went into the ground last autumn. At this moment the tallest is taller than I! I'm 5' 5.5"; it's 5' 8", including the flower at the end of that branch! I did not expect them to get much taller than 2'. I don't have any idea what caused it to grow so big, but it's been a joy. Ruby-throat hummingbirds love to drink out of the flowers, darting from bloom to bloom.


On Jul 3, 2010, learningplanter from Milan, MI wrote:

Jackson, Michigan, zone 5. This is a beautiful airy plant for informal and xeriscape gardens. I grow it from seed. It is very easy to start from seed indoors. The seedlings grow quickly indoors. I planted Agashtache rupestris each of the last three years. Each year I loose about 1/3 of the plants over the winter. I am not sure if the winter is too cold. Most likely the garden mulch keeps the winter soil too wet. I simply plant more each spring and keep trying. My soil is very sandy, almost beach sand. The young plants do need supplemental water the first year or two. A little fertilizer seems to help.


On Sep 26, 2008, tcs1366 from Leesburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love this little plant. I grew it by seed [Winter Sowing Method] and it did bloom the first year. The plants are still quite small [maybe 12-14" tall] and not filling out yet. I'm hoping next year they will be much bigger. Nice addition to the garden.


On Jun 10, 2008, CurtisJones from Broomfield, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

From your friends at Botanical Interests: Agastache rupestris, also known as Licorice Mint, is a Southwestern U.S. native. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees flock to its bright orange and lavender flower spikes. An airy plant, with an explosion of color, reminiscent of the evening sunset, it has greenish-gray foliage that exudes a pleasant root beer scent that reminds some of licorice or mint when touched. The leaves make a refreshing tea. Plants are drought-tolerant when established. Agastache rupestris was a Plant Select winner in 1997.


On Jul 30, 2007, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is absolutely my favourite agastache. Very aromatic smells after a candy that we, in Netherlands, call 'dropjes'.. It has pretty grey-green feathery foliage. I always cut it back into a round habit. By that it keeps also compact...even with heavy rainfall. I 've been surprised how tough this little plant is. I took this plant, raised from seeds that I got in trade (Thanks!), with me to my new house and garden. It has stayed in a pot somewhere between many others for nearly a year. A little neglected because I've had still so much to do in the house after moving. It has survived frosts and a lot of winterwet. Even now..the most wet summer ever...doing great in my garden. It does'nt seed around like some other agastache do. The plants are I find it diff... read more


On Jul 4, 2007, rsmallen from Northampton, PA wrote:

Does not like wet winters...I use gravel as mulch rather than wood mulches since our winters tend to be wet. The grouping I have planted is equal amounts of Gaura Whirling Butterflies and Sunset Hyssop with lesser amounts of Lavender Munstead and Perovskia Little Spire. We love it!


On May 16, 2007, krdixon from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant grows from the roots each spring to 2-3 feet tall in my heavy clay soil. It's not fussy, doesn't need much water, and can tolerate a fair amount of shade. The smell is absolutely wonderful and it's one of the best plants for attracting hummingbirds. The foliage is thin and airy, so my personal preference is for Agastache cana and A. cana x rupestris hybrids, which are a bit more full and bushy.


On Jan 8, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

We really enjoyed a grouping that revolved around this particular agastache in summer of 2006, so am sharing it here -

The overall airiness of this plant contrasts beautifully with the thicker, pebble-surfaced leaves of purple sage (Salvia officinalis purpurea), which echoes the mauve calyxes of the A. rupestris flowers while at the same time contrasting with their apricot color.

Rue and the other hyssop (hyssopus officinalis) associate well with this group, and if you don't mind how invasively calamint (Calamintha nepeta) self-sows, its small, grayish, woolly leaves with airy sprays of tiny lilac flowers add more interest as part of the foreground, with Salvia guarnitica 'Brazilian Black and Blue in the background.

Repeat this agastache a few... read more


On Nov 21, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

Love any and all Agastaches! They are the best summer flower in the garden! Long blooming, smells great, looks beautiful and attracts Hummers!

Leave the stems until the next Spring when new green growth appears, then cut the old ones.


On Oct 7, 2006, renwings from Sultan, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Prefers lean, well drain soil. Very fin foliage. Smells remarkably like root beer! It is very pleasant to brush against this plant while weeding the herb bed. The scent fills the air and lingers.


On Mar 5, 2006, donaldcorken from South Strafford, VT wrote:

I purchased 3 small plants from High Country Gardens in the spring of 2004, and planted them in a hot dry sunny bed in zone 5a. They have been VERY slow to establish. One of the plants was a foot tall by the end of 2005, but the other two aren't much bigger than they were when they arrived in the mail.


On May 18, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant has everything going for it, yummy smell, gorgeous flowers and a hummingbird/butterfly attracter to boot.

It looks great in containers but I've learned the hard way that it may not survive a hard winter above ground.


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

Agastache rupestris grows quickly from seed, and it's terrific for attracting hummingbirds.


On May 12, 2004, kns1313 from Tijeras, NM wrote:

Live in mountains of New Mexico at 7000', annual rainfall about 10". Several specimens throughout garden, full sun to part-sun. Water 2 times per week, 20 oz per time, plants get to waist high. Heavily mulched with chipped/shredded wood.

I propagate readily via seed and soft-cuttings.


On Mar 19, 2002, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Sunset hyssop is a wonderful plant to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden. Plants grow up to 2-feet tall and produce spikes of tubular, coral colored blossoms in late summer. The fragrant foliage has an unusual smell of root beer. Plants prefer well-drained soil and are tolerant of poor dry conditions.