Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop (Agastache Urticifolia)

Botanical Name : Agastache urticifolia
Family  : Labiatae /Lamiaceae
Genus   : Agastache
Synonyms: Agastache glaucifolia – A.Heller. ,Lophanthus urticifolius – Benth.
Common names: Nettle-leaf giant hyssop. Horse mint, horsemint giant hyssop.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: A. urticifolia

Habitat :It is native to the U.S. (United States). Western N. America – Montana to British Columbia, south to California and Colorado.   Moist soils of open hillsides, canyons and mountain valleys, from the foothills to about 2,500 metres.Cultivated Beds;

Description:

This is an aromatic perennial herb growing an erect stem with widely spaced leaves, each lance-shaped to nearly triangular and toothed. The leaves are up to 8 centimeters long and 7 wide. The inflorescence is a dense spike of many flowers. Each flower has long sepals tipped with bright purple and tubular corollas in shades of pink and purple. The fruit is a light brown, fuzzy nutlet about 2 millimeters long. The plant was used medicinally by several Native American groups, especially the leaves.

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This dicot (dicotyledon)  has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop has dark green foliage and inconspicuous red flowers, with a smattering of conspicuous green fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop has a long life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop will reach up to 5 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 0 inches.

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. A plant is growing in a sunny bed at Kew Botanical gardens and appears fully hardy there[K]. This species withstands temperatures down to about -40°c when fully dormant. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

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Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Tea.

Leaves. No further details are given, but they are most likely to be used as an aromatic flavouring in salads and cooked foods. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and fiddly to use. The dried flowers and leaves are used to make a herbal tea.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Analgesic; Antirheumatic; Stomachic.

The leaves are analgesic and antirheumatic. A decoction is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, measles, stomach pains and colds. Externally, a poultice of the mashed leaves is applied to swellings.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Agastache+urticifolia
http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy/nettleleaf-giant-hyssop-agastache-urticifolia/
http://plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=aguru_001_ahp.tif
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=AGUR&photoID=agur_007_avp.tif
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agastache_urticifolia
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=113

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