Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lavender Hyssop is a Great Bee Magnet by Joyce D’Agostino

Photo by Joyce D'Agostino
A few years ago, I overheard some gardeners remarking how much they enjoyed hyssop.  Since I enjoy growing herbs, especially those that produce both attractive flowers and fragrant foliage, I decided to give it a try.

I chose a Lavender Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum,  and started it from seed. The seed information promised that it would attract bees and butterflies.

Since this is a perennial, the first year it remained small and didn’t flower but did survive the severe hailstorm of the summer of 2009. It continued to grow each year since and this was the first year that it produced fluffy lavender flower spikes.

Photo by Joyce D'Agostino

   As promised the bees loved it.  On the day I took this picture, the bees were swarming the flowers so fast that it was hard to capture them in action.

In addition to the flowers, the leaves have a pleasant anise scent and have been used medicinally as well as to make root beer and teas.

If you are looking to add an herb that not only brings bees and butterflies to your garden, but also have attractive flowers and scented leaves, consider adding this gem to your garden.

If you want to know more about growing this herb, check these CSU garden publications: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1061.html