Agastache scrophulariifolia (Purple Giant Hyssop)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Lamiaceae (Mint)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; woods
Bloom season:July - August
Plant height:3 to 6 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: spike

[photo of flowers] Flower spike 1 to 6 inches long of ¼ inch long tubular flowers, each with 4 long stamens. Color ranges from lavender to pale pink and occasionally white. The lower lip of the flower tube has 3 lobes; the center one is widest. One plant usually has several spikes. Not all flowers are open at the same time.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, with a rounded base, pointed tip and coarsely toothed edges. The leaf stem is covered in short hairs. Like all members of the Mint family, the main stem is square; it has scattered short hairs along the ridges as well.


Purple Giant Hyssop can be distinguished from Blue Giant Hyssop (A. foeniculum) by the leaves and the cup-like whorl of sepals (calyx) holding the flower. Purple Giant Hyssop has a green calyx, Blue Giant Hyssop is blue-violet, and the underside of Blue Giant Hyssop leaves is whitish where Purple Giant Hyssop is green.

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More photos

Photos taken in Blaine, Anoka County and Wild River State Park, Center City, MN July-August 2007 and 2009. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Hennepin County


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Steve - Pine county
on: 2009-07-12 15:35:18

Seen blooming in Banning State Park, Pine County, July 4th 2009.

Posted by: Tom and Nan - Chisago county
on: 2010-07-25 09:53:29

Wild RIver SP Sept 2005

Posted by: Carrie Anne - Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis, MN
on: 2012-05-31 09:00:07

I saw a mass of Purple Giant Hyssop and Goldenrod along the Shoreline Habitat Restoration at Lake Powderhorn in Minneapolis in late August 2011. You can see it here:

Posted by: Lynnette - on the bluff between Hastings and Red Wing
on: 2012-07-02 18:19:48

Saw a large patch of Purple Giant Hyssop on the bluff overlooking Prairie Island, June 2012.

Posted by: Nancy B - Northfield, Rice County
on: 2014-10-30 16:09:26

This plant grows in the Carleton College Arboretum in Northfield, Minnesota, in an oak dominated open woodland along Spring Creek Road, on the east edge of Northfield.

Posted by: Tippi - St. Paul (My backyard)
on: 2015-06-06 21:01:10

I bought this plant at the U of M plant sale about 3 years..Now it is growing everwhere it is HUGH. BUT I LOVE IT...

Posted by: Mya - SW Minneapolis
on: 2015-09-05 22:05:25

I have this and the blue giant hyssop growing in my garden and agree--It is the clear favorite of bumblebees, honey bees, goldfinches, small butterflies, and goldfinches. I was also surprised to see it visited by hummingbirds this year. Note: I have to pinch this back when it is a couple of feet tall to get it to branch out so it stays a little shorter and doesn't get too floppy or break off in storms.

Posted by: Terry S - Minneapolis - Powderhorn Park
on: 2017-10-04 09:51:49

The 5/31/2012 photo posted by Carrie Anne of the Shoreline Habitat Restoration at Powderhorn Lake is actually of A. foeniculum. I went over today (10/4/2017) to check it out -- the image, the description, and the signage at the lake all made it possible to pinpoint the exactly point where the photo was taken. The plants have densely fine-pubescent calyces, as well as the densely matted hairs on the leaf undersides. According to G&C and, you would expect A. scrophulariifolia to have only sparsely pubescent calyces and leaf undersides with the pubescence not densely tangled / matted. The Powderhorn plants also have the pronounced anise scent, even in autumn (more noticeable at this point in the crushed inflorescences).

Posted by: Elise Bushard - Carver Park Reserve, Carver Co
on: 2018-09-20 16:54:14

Both species, Purple Giant Hyssop and Blue Giant Hyssop are growing in Carver Park Reserve, Victoria, Carver County.

Posted by: Mary Struffert - Foreston
on: 2023-02-16 22:51:11

This plant is growing wild here. The bees absolutely love it.

Posted by: Mary Janicek - Scott county, between New Prague and Jordan
on: 2023-08-22 09:39:53

2 years ago I planted Anise Hyssop plants purchased from Scott County. Half of the plants have the expected blue flowers and the lovely Anise scent the other half have white/ pale purple flowers and no scent. Before blossoming I couldn't distinguish the two versions. It must be a Hyssop but which one. Both are lovely plants but the lack of Anise scent confuses me.

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