Friday, August 23, 2013

Agastache ~ Friday's Flower

If there is a plant that attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies, is hardy in zone 5, there is a good chance you will find it growing in my yard.  The Agastache, also known as Hummingbird Mint, Mosquito Plant, but more commonly Hyssop, is one of these plants.  It likes full sun, blooms between July and October and depending on the variety, of which there are many, grows between 2-4' tall.  
These two 'Black Adder' Hyssop plants were set at the back of the split rail fence last fall.  An easy care perennial, drought tolerant once established, they feature long wands that support dark purple bracts where soft lavender blooms emerge.  Unlike most plants, it's anise scent comes from the green foliage and not from the flower.

Here is one of a pair of iridescent green hummingbirds that come to the yard daily for their nectar fix. 
They also like the orange Crocosmia which are close by.
After gently running my hand over the leaves of this 'Big Bazooka' Hyssop with it's multicolored flowers of peach, pink and orange, I'm reminded of childhood days and bubblegum.
The reference to being called a Mosquito plant: supposedly, rubbing the foliage on your skin helps to repel those aggressive insects.

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