The Garden Guy — Hummingbird Mints Perennial Plants of Participation

By Norman Winter

Here in the North Texas area, pollination plays a role in a wide variety of crops including the home garden. There is nothing quite as joyous as growing perennials that bring in bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Among the best are the agastaches, also known as hummingbird mints and anise hyssops. Honey producers know anise hyssop honey is one most often considered a delicacy.
Besides bringing in pollinators to the garden, they also create excitement by virtue of their blue spiky flowers. Blue Fortune and Black Adder are two of the most sensational selections for the garden and are well worth searching out. Both are hybrids of the U.S. native Agastache foeniculum and Korean Agastache rugosa.

This cross has given us what I call perennials of participation. You will want to visit them often, even get a chair and stake out a position to watch and enjoy. The pollinator activity will amaze you, and for those of you who consider yourself to be a culinary artist, these are plants that will thrill with flavor.

Agastaches have become addicting for many horticulturists and I admit to the affliction. So, if you become like me, you may also want to try Blue Boa and Violet Vision. Blue Boa won the “Too Good to Be True Award” at Colorado State University perennial trials. It was also a winner at North Carolina State University.

To read more pick up a copy of the June 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Blue Fortune. (Photos by Norman Winter)