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Anise Hyssop

 
Posts: 124
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Does anyone grow "Licorice Mint"?  I've read about it a bunch of sources, including books and seed catalogs, and half the time they say its a hardy perennial and half the time they say its an annual. I am very confused, maybe I'm confusing common names?
 
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
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I've grown it the last two years in Chicago, and it's perennial. We had waaaay more than we needed. Once it's well established and gets bigger, you can cut it pretty far down to the base, leaving 3-4" or so, and it'll come again. We got at least two cuttings this last summer, if not 3.

Sold it to a restaurant that was making a sorbet with it. Hmmm...
 
Charlie Michaels
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Chicago,  thats gotta be zone 0. So they are cold hardy.

That's cool you were able to sell your herb too (legal herb!) Did you just walk in and say to the manager, "Hey, prime A licorice mint here, could you use some"?
 
Joe Skeletor
Posts: 113
Location: Blue Island, Illinois - Zone 6a - (Lake Effect) - surrounded by zone 5b
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Zone 5 actually. I work at an urban farm that sells to the local neighborhood and also restaurants throughout the city. Getting almost $10 a pound on the Anise Hyssop. Only a couple restaurants interested in it though.
 
                                  
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The leaves and tiny lavender-blue flowers of anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) smell and taste of anise, but its square stems and opposite leaves tell you it belongs to a different family entirely, the Lamiaceae (Labiatae), or mint family.
Anise hyssop is good for cut flowers and in pot pourri, and the flowers dry nicely to navy blue (the dried seed heads look pretty nice in the winter garden, too). This herb smells like black licorice and in fact has some chemicals in common with licorice, but the scent also has notes of lemon, pine, sage, black pepper, and camphor, so it's nice and complex. The leaves or flowers are edible and can be used to sweeten tea or flavor sugar or quickbreads and muffins (add 1/2 cup chopped fresh flowers).
It attracts bees, edible flowers, leaves for flavoring or teas, crafts, seeds used in cookies, cakes, and muffins.
 
pollinator
Posts: 463
Location: South West France
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I like to grow it beside my cabbages it attracts the cabbage butterflies who stay off my food !

 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Here in Oakland, there are quite a few trendy ice cream places that produce flavors like lavender, epazote, black sesame...if such a place opens, I bet it would be a good market for permaculture growers.
 
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I grow Black Adder hyssop, which is a cross between the anise hyssop of the great plains and Korean mint.

It is a beautiful ornamental, a great bee plant and a fine culinary herb, with a complex taste that includes mint, anise and root beer.
 
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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I've grown it here in North Carolina mountain area.  It becomes almost a pest, except that it is easy to pull out.  The mason bees love it.  Haven't really used it for much, glad to see this information on it. 
 
Posts: 9
Location: PA
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I've been growing anise hyssop, agastache foeniculum, for several years from the same plant. It has survived mild drought and wet seasons. It doesn't mind the cold - I'm in Zone 7 but in the winter we get down to the teens in January & early February - and grown back the next spring. I cut it back in early summer for dried leaves and some fresh use and to make the plant fuller, then wait for the flower spikes & harvest them, and then follows a 3rd growth which I let be as a 3rd harvest tends to be bitter. I typically use it to flavor my honey or to make infusions from. One season, I let it grow as big as it wanted and did not harvest it. It was well over 5 feet high by early August & crawling with bees & other insects of many varieties!
 
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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How easily does this grow from seed?
 
Posts: 7085
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Steve Flanagan wrote:How easily does this grow from seed?



I find it grows easily from seed...I started mine that way eight years ago and have a similar experience to Jen S. above. Larger plants die back and volunteers replace them...it is one of my "weeds" that I love along with the bumblebees.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Judith Browning wrote:

Steve Flanagan wrote:How easily does this grow from seed?



I find it grows easily from seed...I started mine that way eight years ago and have a similar experience to Jen S. above. Larger plants die back and volunteers replace them...it is one of my "weeds" that I love along with the bumblebees.



Thank you for the reply. I'm starting year two of my great permaculture project, and funds are quite low for me. So, I'll be starting whatever I can from seed, but I want to choose things that I have a good chance of success. Anise Hyssop has been on my list of herbs to plant. Any advice I can get on growing this plant would be much appreciated. if anyone wants to PM me on easy to grow culinary and medicinal herbs I would also be very thankful.
 
Jen Schellings
Posts: 9
Location: PA
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Steve - it is a fairly easy plant to grow, like most mints. You could start it indoors in the spring or wait until about April or May to plant it directly into the soil. It's not a fussy plant so doesn't have special needs. It's a prarie plant and is happiest in full sun but likes to have some shade from the full summer afgternoon sun. It also seems to like a chance to have dry feet now and then so make sure not to over water. Mine seemed happiest next to the mountain mint I have growing which is a bit of a straggly sprawler against the the tall straight agastache, they like each other in my garden. Pinching the new sets leafs makes a fuller plant. Oh I am so ready for next spring!
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Jen Schellings wrote:Steve - it is a fairly easy plant to grow, like most mints. You could start it indoors in the spring or wait until about April or May to plant it directly into the soil. It's not a fussy plant so doesn't have special needs. It's a prarie plant and is happiest in full sun but likes to have some shade from the full summer afgternoon sun. It also seems to like a chance to have dry feet now and then so make sure not to over water. Mine seemed happiest next to the mountain mint I have growing which is a bit of a straggly sprawler against the the tall straight agastache, they like each other in my garden. Pinching the new sets leafs makes a fuller plant. Oh I am so ready for next spring!



Thanks! I can't wait for spring either. Much to plant!
 
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