Yellow Giant Hyssop
Origin: Eastern North America
Improvement status: Wild
Seeds per packet: ~100
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Perennial
This hyssop lacks the aromatic leaves of other members of the genus, but its height alone — in optimal settings it can reach up to 8 feet tall, though 4 to 6 is more common — makes it a striking presence in any landscape. We recommend this plant if you're looking for a low-maintenance native perennial to help attract beneficial insects.
The flower spikes, which are a paler green than the rest of the plant, can reach a foot and half long themselves, though only a small portion of each spike contains flowers at any given time. The flowers are pale yellow to off-white, and they are usually completely abuzz with native insects when in bloom. Bumblebees, sweat bees, yellow-faced bees, and honeybees, among many other insects, can all be found gorging on its nectar. This is a great Eastern North America native for pollinator gardens, rain gardens, or any native plantings.
The leaves of this species are bitter, which means deer won't mess with it, and that some people find it makes a pleasant tea. Native peoples have reportedly used a poultice made from the leaves to treat poison ivy.
Our seed comes from our friend Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery in Maine.
GROWING TIPS: Easy to grow from seed, it may take a couple years for it to begin to flower. It may struggle in dry, sunny locations, but given partial shade and moist soil, it will spread by rhizome and create a dense stand over time. Great for fencelines and wood edges.