Hyssop (or hyssopus) is a herbaceous perennial shrub belonging to the mint family with attractive spikes of flowers that come in purple, blue, pink, white and orange. Both the flowers and the leaves are fragrant, with scents ranging from bubblegum to licorice. Plants grow to be 2-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.
Hyssop is easy to grow from seed and the flowers are long lasting, blooming from late summer until fall. The most popular cultivated variety is H. officinalis. These striking plants would be ideal for low hedges and borders or grown in containers.
It is a good companion plant to vegetables, as it deters pests and encourages pollinators. The nectar-rich flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Many varieties are heat and drought-tolerant. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil.
The flowers would make lovely cut flowers, both for fresh and dried arrangements.
Climate Zones: 4-10
Fun Flower Facts about Hyssop:
- The leaves are edible and have a strong, minty flavour (which can be an acquired taste). Use sparingly to flavour soups, salads and other dishes.
- Hyssop has a history of traditional medicine use to treat stress, respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
- Hyssop is a key ingredient in colognes and perfumes.
- Hyssop is used to flavour liqueurs, such as chartreuse.
- The dried flowers and leaves can be used to make potpourri.
- The flowers and leaves can be made into a tea to relieve stress and promote sleep.
- Hyssop was once hung in homes to protect from evil and witches.
- Medicinal Herbs: Hyssop (modernpioneermagazine.wordpress.com)