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Author Topic: The Hyssops, huge nectar/pollen plants for the bees!!!  (Read 9366 times)
Cindi
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« on: April 26, 2008, 08:53:20 AM »

I have three pictures that I would like to show of the two cultivars of anise that I planted last year.  They are perennials and are coming up gangbusters now too, I will be taking many cuttings and propogating the "bush" type, the name of the cultivar is "Blue Fortune", the other type is a floppy asise that I grow from seed.  If you get any chance, get to a nursery to get some of the anise hyssop for your bees, they will thank you, it grows well anywhere.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi

The mother anise hyssop (Blue Fortune cultivar)plants that I take cuttings from



A close up of the mother plant



Bees on the mother plant



A picture of what the cuttings look like when they begin to set their blooms



This picture shows the mother plants on the left and some of the cutting plants on the right.  The mother plants are pretty much finished blooming, while the younger plants keep the blooming season going on until frost kill because they are a younger plant.  This keeps the plants in bloom almost all summer when they begin to bloom. (oops, did it again, posted a picture twice, bad me).  The mother hyssops are the larger plants on the left with the flower blooms that are pretty much on their last leg..




Lastly, this is the anise anisata that I take the seeds from, the bees love it too, but it is more of a floppy plant, this is what the seed plants will look like this summer when they begin to bloom for you.  Enjoy and have that beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi

« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 11:44:17 PM by Cindi » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 10:28:15 AM »

Looks good Cindi. I have lots of flowering plants, trees and shrubs too, and will keep a look out to see what they like best.
We have lots of sweet rocket (hesperis) here, and I'm hoping it's a good bee plant.
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 07:03:35 PM »

Great pics Cindi!

I really want to add this all around my area as well.  I ordered 100's of anise hyssop seeds and have been attempting to germinate them.  They are very slowly starting to come up now (I'm germinating them indoors in coir cubes), but only a few.

If anyone knows of any wholesale suppliers of Anise Hyssop starts somewhere here in the PacNW U.S. please send me a PM.  I may have to resort to "plan B" if these seeds don't start taking off soon. 

Cheers,
Dane
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 11:39:25 PM »

Dane, if you are having trouble germinating them, my first question, have you left them uncovered.  Most annuals that I know of require light for germination, if you feel a need to cover any annuals seeds, I would suggest merely a dusting of medium to hold them in place only.  I don't cover the anise and they germinate like wildfire.....if you need seed for the anise anisata, the floppy looking one, I would gladly send you some down. Say the word.  When you are looking for the Anise Hyssop, like the tall one in the pictures, ask for Anise Hyssop, Blue Fortune, that is the cultivar that I grow. 

The anise doesn't grow that fast, but once it is transplanted outside it takes off like wildfire. 

You need to tell me if you have covered the seed or if you have left it uncovered, that is very important to me, good luck finding the Anise Hyssop, you should be able to find good sized plants in nurseries pretty soon, their perennial stocks should be coming in.

I wish that you lived closer.  I took about 120 cuttings from one of my mother plants and they are setting roots.  They will be fully rooted and ready for transplanting outside in about 3 weeks, they will bloom in July, and carry on until frost kill, the mother plants bloom earlier and end a little earlier too.  Man, I wish that there was a way that I could get some cuttings to you, seriously.  They take about 15 minutes to put these many many cuttings into rooting hormone and into little 2-1/2 inch deep pots, my kingdom that I could get some to you. Sorry.  Best of this beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 11:40:34 PM »

Brenda, I am pretty sure that bees love hespiris, something rings a bell in the back of my mind.  Have a beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 07:48:08 AM »

Cindi,
 I have some of those plants. I didn't know the name I just got them because they were covered in bees when I bought them. 
  I can't seem to start the seeds. How do I start the cuttings?  how long do I make them and when do I do it?
  Thanks for your help,
   Jim 
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008, 09:16:15 AM »

OK Jim, here goes, this may get a little boring and lengthy, remember I love to ramble, hee, hee.

I don't know what stage of growth the mother plants are at right now, but I usually hit them when they have many new shoots coming up that have at least three sets of leaves.  You can take cuttings any time after they are taller too, but I find taking the cuttings really early promotes the plants to be even more strong and when they are little bit older I divide them, and I aggressively divide them.

First lets talk about division.  Perennials usually respond really well to division after a few years, many plants demand division to keep them growing well.  By division I mean cutting them into hunks and planting those new hunks.  Sometimes an axe is required, other times a shovel.  Hyssop can be divided by a shovel.  I divided two plants yesterday, the original mother plants, of the mother plants I got about 6 new plants each to move around (2 mother plants).  I left a hunk of the mother plant in the ground, she will grow to massive size this year because of the division.  Next year I will divide about 15 more like that because they will need division, and holy smoking smokers!!!  I will just have to figure out what to do with the next many, many that will need division in a few years time, hee, hee.

OK, now onto the cuttings.  I have a pair of snips (not the green ones that JP sent up to Frantz, that is a joke by the way, teasing JP).  These are little scissor like snips.  I grap a stem, I am going to speak blatently here.  I cut that stem to below the second set of leaves, just above the third leaves,

That leaves a stem with a set of leaves and the new growing tip.  Not very tall, I should take a picture to show you, I will do that later on today, so look for a picture tomorrow morning of the actual look of the plant. 

I use rooting hormone, this is not necessary, but I believe it really allows the cutting to get an extra good leap into life.  I put a little bit of rooting hormone on the stem below the leaf set.  I place this stem into the soil and push it into the medium until the set of leaves is just barely beneath the soil medium (the soil must be moistened prior to putting the stem in it).  You will see the leaves kind of sticking out of the soil.

The plant will wilt and it will look terrible for about 2 days.  Then after two or three days the stem will begin to stand up straight and within two weeks, the cutting will have roots.  You can then plant this entire cutting and small root ball into the ground, or you can leave it for a little bit longer.  It is very simplistic and takes no time whatsover.  I did about 100 cuttings in about 1/2 hour in all time length.

I am going now to take a picture of the bunch of cuttings and I will pull one out of the soil to show you what I am talking about, never mind waiting until tomorrow, so this will take a few minutes.  I will suspend this post for now.  C.U. in a few minute

OK, the first picture shows the tray of cuttings, 32 cells, 2 cuttings in each one.  They are wilted looking, but beginning to restore the strength of the cutting, they will be upright and growing well in a couple of more days



A single cell so you can have a good look



A cutting that has two sets of leaves, the lower set that I bury the very base of the leaves slightly under the soil medium



A cutting that has one set of leaves, the set that I bury the very base slightly below the soil medium



I don't like to make the stem any longer than 2 or 3 sets of leaves for strength of the cutting for standing back up.

I hope that these pictures clarify exactly the process.  Let me know if you require any further information, I will help you.  Have the best of this most wonderful day, Cindi

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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 09:55:57 AM »

Hey Cindi, you just gave me a great idea!  At my CSA Jen has this plant in the U-cut area...I remember it being covered in bees last summer and it is a good looking one too.  I can U-cut myself some plants! I already have all the stuff,another DUH moment for me rolleyes  Dane, I can start some for you if you like, I have some of the priority all you can cram boxes, think it's bout $8? most non-woody herbs are a high % of success. The bees love lemon balm & chox mint too..have tons & doesn't even die when pulled up & left in the sun for a couple of days  shocked  Jody
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 10:22:42 AM »

Great pics Cindi!

I really want to add this all around my area as well.  I ordered 100's of anise hyssop seeds and have been attempting to germinate them.  They are very slowly starting to come up now (I'm germinating them indoors in coir cubes), but only a few.

If anyone knows of any wholesale suppliers of Anise Hyssop starts somewhere here in the PacNW U.S. please send me a PM.  I may have to resort to "plan B" if these seeds don't start taking off soon. 

Cheers,
Dane

I bought twenty bare root plants last year for a dollar a piece from ebay. All flowered well, and 16 made it through winter. One or two died b/c squirrells removed dirt next to roots however. I looked on ebay and saw only seeds this year, but I would keep checking. I also by them from a local herb grower, for about $3/piece but they are in 4" pots.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 08:56:08 PM »

cuttings are for spring, when do I devide?  I think I'd try deviding one of my plants to see if I can do it without killing the plant. I'm definitely going to try some cuttings.  I saved your instructions and photos so I can try this out. Thanks for your help.
Jim
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 11:34:38 PM »

Jim, I divided my mother plants yesterday.  They would have I would say about 4 or 5 sets of leaves on the stalks, so if yours even have a few leaves divide them now.  It won't hurt, will only help them out.  If you flouke up, all the roots underground will still be alive and will send up new shoots, plants have an amazing will to survive, hee, hee, best of this beautiful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 12:10:58 AM »

Dane, if you are having trouble germinating them, my first question, have you left them uncovered. 

 <snip>

Thanks Cindi!  Excellent cuttings tutorial in your subsequent post as well.  I do wish we were closer.  I love cloning as a propagation method.    edit ~> I forgot to add, misting the clones often (keeping them moist) and out of intense direct sunlight until they've established a root system will help avoid early, over-transpiration/dehydration.  There's some excellent hydro (aero) cloning methods/devices as well.

I did have them just resting in the pockets of the starter cubes, uncovered (yet surrounded by moist medium on all other sides).  After some time (2 weeks?) of that I've just recently tried covering the ungerminated ones thinly (w/same starter cube material).  Anyways - no further worries on this batch, all my other garden plants are going off well.  Smiley

Konasdad ~> thx - I think that is the same packaging & price my local nursery quoted me.  I'll probably get a few of each - my seedlings that germinated & some 4" pots from the nursery.  If they do well I'll have loads of cuttings available come next year.  My cats are evil on the squirrels (& if they weren't, I would be). 

Cheers,
Dane
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 06:50:44 PM »

Cindi ,
 I did the division.  It worked just fine. we had a nice rain storm right after so they hardly had time to wilt. They look great!!  I'm so glad you are here. 
The bees and I thank you very much.
   Jim 
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2008, 11:51:05 PM »

Jim, excellent!!!!  How many divisions did you make from the mother plants?  Just curious, curiosity never got this cat!!!  If you wanted to be really crazy, and take tons of time, a plant that has a root ball say of about 12 inches across could probably be divided into about 10 plants.  Each hunk of root will make new plants, it is an extremely fast and vigorous way of dividing plants, meaning about how quickly they grow from root division, compared to say, cuttings.  They are already totally established plants with all their little hair roots.  So glad that you listened to my advice, thank you for that.  Enjoy the new plants, take pictures to show us your conquest of nature!!!  Beautiful and most wonderful day on this great planet, Earth.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2008, 08:10:27 AM »

Cindi,
 I cut the mother in half and didn't disturb it.  Then I took the 1/2 and divided it 3 times. So I've got 6 new plants from 2 mother plants.
 I know that the few plants that I have don't make a difference in honey production but I love watching the bees work my bee plants around the house.
have a happy day,
  Jim 
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2008, 10:47:35 PM »

When I want to propogate plants I just bend a branch over and cover some leaf joints with soil and wait a couple of months.  I then clip the brance at the ground level parent side and have a new rooted plant. 
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 08:48:33 AM »

Brian, the art of soil layering, that is wonderful.  I am not sure if that is the correct terminology or not, I know there is also one called air layering, I have done that one too with indoor plants, that makes for some interesting stuff.

I have never tried what you do, but I have heard about it.  It is especially useful when doing this with shrubs, like rhododendrons and the like.  I am going to give that a whirl sometime.  I see my honeysuckle bush do this thing on its own alot.  I had always wondered why the bush kept getting wider and wider until I saw one time that where the branches had touched the ground, roots had set on the bottom of the branch and new growth occurred.  Nature does have its ways, now doesn't it, hee, hee.  Most beautiful day, wishes for good health for us all, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 10:31:27 AM »

My anise hyssop is in bloom, but it doesn't get nearly as much attention as the chasteberry (vitex).  I was watching one wild bee buzz around the hyssop, and it was interested, but seemed like there was an invisible force field around the blooms. Seemed to hover 2-3 inches from the flower - if it got any closer, it would back off, fly circles around the plant, then come back in and hover again.  I watched for about five minutes, and it finally went to one flower for nectar. But the vitex was loaded with bees, and they were feeding. 
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2008, 09:27:53 AM »

Vetch, now isn't that just interesting.  My hyssop won't be blooming until the middle of July or so, and it is loaded and I mean loaded with bees, even though I have the phacelias and borage which are enormous nectar/pollen plants blooming all summer, at the same time.  Maybe my species is particularly attractive for honeybees, it is the Blue Fortune cultivar, have you seen the pictures that I have put on the forum of the bees on mine?  Check it out.  Have a most beautiful, greatfully wonderful day, love our life, every minute of every day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2008, 01:25:19 PM »

Cindi, thanks for this post! I planted three hyssop in my flower garden and gave one to the doctor friend on mine. They have been flowering for quite awhile and have bees all over them, not my bees but oh well. If it was not for this post I might not have even know about this plant.
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« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2008, 01:43:46 PM »

my wife planted a small annual flower garden of bee friendly flowers including hyssop. there must be much better stuff elsewhere because theres no honey bees on these flowers even though they are in full bloom. theres plenty of bumblebees and butterflies on them though.
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2008, 01:49:24 PM »

Good, all, it will be interesting to hear more about hyssops.  I will have to get out today and take some pictures to show comparison to the pictures that I put in the beginning of this thread, I will try to get the pictures from the same angle.  The mother hyssop plants are massive, still in the fullest bloom that you could possibly imagine, the young hyssop cuttings are now pretty massive plants too, they are coming into their full blooming too.  The bees cover these plants!!!!  And the masses and masses of the Sea Holly are covered in the bees too, it will be still blooming for another couple of weeks.

I have been extremely busy lately with stuff, (whah, whah, I know we are all busy, hee, hee), so I haven't had any time to get out and do some picture taking that I want to do to show what stuff is going here.  But today is rather overcast, and that is the perfect time for picture taking, so I will endeavour to get out and get some good stuff pictures, hee, hee.

Randy, there MUST be something more appealing to the bees, if they are not covering the hyssop.  Also, I wonder if the cultivar of hyssop   may be one that is not particularly attractive, no clue about that.  The cultivar that I propagate here is called "Blue Fortune" and that it certainly is!!!!  Randy, any idea what the "name" of your type is?  Just curious. 

I think this year I am going to gather some seed from my hyssop Blue Fortune and see if the seed bears true to the parent plant next year.  I have a funny feeling that it may be a hybrid, which then the seed grown plants would not come true to the parent.  But then, if I wasn't such a lazy girl with some stuff, I would do a little research.....oh dear, get off my butt.....I will check it out and see if my hyssop is a hybrid or not, one day.  If the plant is not a hybrid, I will have seed galore that I would be willing to spread around the universe for those that would request it, hee, hee.  I think that judging by the size of the plants I might have 40 billion seeds, hee, hee.  Have a beautiful, most wonderful and awesomely great and fabulous day.  Cindi
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2008, 10:47:43 PM »

Cindi

My anise you gave me are coming up nicely. Will take some photos next week to post. They are starting to bloom and they are so beautiful. Thank you so much for the seeds.

Annette
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2008, 03:02:07 PM »

Thanks Cindi I am going to do mine tomarrow
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2009, 02:20:10 PM »

Cindi, I have three anise hyssop plants. 2 of them look good and held up good. The third grew almost 6' this year and the stalks could not hold the weight. When it rained or I would water the stalks would just fall to the ground and cover the other plants. Why would this one grow 3' higher than the rest? Is there a way to keep it smaller without damaging the stalks so it does not bloom? Here is a picture of it.





Here is a picture so you can see the size difference. The one in question is at the back to the far right.

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« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2009, 09:04:12 AM »

Shawn, no clue why one would grow so tall, other than maybe a different cultivar of the hyssop, were they the same called when you bought them?  I know my hyssop grow to be about 6 feet tall (that is the flower bud branches, the plant is only about 4 feet).  When the flowers get really mature and are beginning to fade, then the rains will take it down and it falls over, just like yours.  I don't fertilize my hyssop, I have read that they do not require very much nutrients, other than what they get in the soil.  But that depends also upon areas, climates, etc.  They are lovers of dry and heat.  When you water your plants, always remember if you can, to water below the foliage, like ground level.  That is the proper way to water plants, it prevents the water from weighing down the plant's flowers/foliage.  Not always an option I am sure, but try to ground water, and don't overwater hyssop.  I know you live in Colorado, I think it is very dry there?  You perhaps do require to water.  I have never watered any of my hyssops, but then we live in a cooler, moist climate.  Except for this summer, it didn't rain for two months, but they still survived beautifully.  They are so beautiful, aren't they?  Good luck, sorry about taking so long to reply to your post, just been busy.  Have a most wonderful day, enjoying our lives we love, great health.  Cindi
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2009, 08:48:00 AM »

Wetch had same problem . Bees went elsewhere for nectar , till I put lime around the plants . Vytex grows anywhere , but some plants like sweeter soil. Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2009, 10:36:39 AM »

Great looking shrub Cindi! I'm always looking for good honey bee shrubs/flowers.  Got to check and see if they are local for me.

...DOUG
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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2010, 06:00:03 PM »

Cindi:

  thanks to your beautiful pictures (motivated me), I went to the local nursery and picked up a Blue Fortune (actually 2). They had 10 in stock!  So now I have to figure out where to plant the first two. I'm still planning on adding more hives this year so I need to give placement serious thought.

   Once again, thanks for the pic's and I have enjoyed this thread.

...DOUG
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2010, 09:16:06 PM »

Doug, beauty.  You will love the cultivar, Blue Fortune, that is mine.  You will one day learn to take cuttings from the mother plants, and you can have hundreds of these, for no cost, smiling.  Good, glad you got them, you will love the scent of the leaves and flowers, licorice.  Beautiful days, with that wish of love and health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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Location: Carroll Valley, PA

secondchanceapiary@gmail


« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2010, 03:04:26 PM »

Let me start off by saying I hope you have found some Dane... I just came back from the nursery with 4 Anise hyssop starter plants at the low low price of 2.69 each.. they are nice size about a foot high and 3 stalks to each plant.  The licorice smell on the leaves is powerful.  I can't wait till its frost free and I will be planting it pretty close to my hives.  Has anyone used it for tea or any other food purposes? I have read you can and it smells fantastic.

CV Bees
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