Agastache scrophulariifolia (Purple Giant Hyssop)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Agastache
Family:Lamiaceae (Mint)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
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.

Notes:

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

Comments

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: http://images60.fotki.com/v224/photos/3/557703/10707389/IMAG1425-vi.jpg.

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 MichiganFlora.net, 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).

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