Family: Lamiaceae

These perennials, which last about three to four years, are a good choice for borders, shrubberies or garden beds because they flower profusely for a long period. The leaves are pleasantly aromatic. One species is very attractive to bees and is also used in herbal teas.


A. foeniculum, anise hyssop, a perennial native to central North America, grows to 60-120 cm (24-48 in) and produces attractive spikes of purple flowers from late summer to autumn. The aniseed-flavored leaves are used as a seasoning in foods and herbal teas.

A. mexicana, Mexican bergamot or giant hyssop, zone 9, is a well-known species. Its long spikes of salvia-like flowers in rose-pink to crimson appear between mid and late summer. It grows to 60 cm (24 in).

A. rugosa, Korean mint, is also a perennial. It resembles anise hyssop, but its rather minty flavor is quite different. It is also used in teas and as a flavoring.


Propagate from seed or by division of the existing clumps. Pot or plant out young plants in mid-spring. If planted in rich soil, they will thrive. A. mexicana is hardy but requires shelter from harsh winter conditions, and may require staking because the stems are pliable.


Most of these perennials can be grown in zone 8 and above.

Agapetes      Agathis