04 August 2014

Anise Agastache is Agastache foeniculum and Anise Hyssop or Blue Giant Hyssop

This beautiful native plant, Agastache foeniculum is often grown as an edible though originally we bought the seeds so pollinators would have more to eat in our garden and mosey over to the fruit and vegetables.
Agastache foeniculum flowering
This one is hardy in zones 4 to 9 and can grow to 4 feet tall. Ours are in part shade so they max out at about 3 feet tall. Covered with bumble bees, this wonderfully scented member of the mint family is a delight to brush by and weed around as it release its yummy licorice scent into the air.

Plant the seeds outside in the ground or in flats this fall and they will reward you for years to come as they self-seed a little every year but never so much that you regret planting them.

Plants for a Future describes its edible qualities "Leaves and flowers - raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in raw or cooked dishes. Excellent raw, they have a sweet aniseed flavour and are one of our favourite flavourings in salads. They make a delicious addition to the salad bowl and can also be used to flavour cooked foods, especially acid fruits.The only drawback to the leaves is that they tend to have a drying effect in the mouth and so cannot be eaten in quantity A pleasant tasting tea is made from the leaves."

3 comments:

Hollis said...

Wild Agastache foeniculum is a favorite of mine. I like to pick and and chew for awhile (not swallow) the younger leaves, near the top of the plant. They have a sweet anise flavor -- very nice.

Martha Stoodley said...

Ya know, I really should taste the leaves some time, Hollis.
Do you grow it in your garden or just sample it out in the wild?

Hollis said...

It grows wild, and I sometimes come across it while out hiking. I've not seen it in gardens around here.