Agastache rupestris, sunset hyssop (100889 bytes)

Sunset Hyssop - Agastache rupestris

By Carl Wilson, Horticulture Agent, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver County

Agastache rupestris, sunset hyssop, is a challenging plant to artfully incorporate into the perennial border. The plant reaches 24" in height, has a rootbeer aroma, and is a southwestern native. Until bloom, its finely dissected foliage is easily lost among other plants. Its unusual orange flower color is hard to mix with other plants. Flower buds and the necks of open orange blooms are an unusual, deep violet color.

An effective plant combination is to match it with Aster x frikartii, Frikart's aster, also often known as 'Wonder of Stafa' aster. This reliable plant has been called one of the ten best perennials by some. It has gray-green leaves that complement the gray color of the hyssop foliage. Better yet, the violet-blue color of the aster flowers complements the violet-colored necks of the orange hyssop flowers.

Additional plants to incorporate into this planting could include Salvia argentea, Silver sage, for the texture given by its broad leaves with their silver-white hairs. For variety, Calamagrostis x acutiflora, Feather reed grass, adds interest with its erect, tawny- colored, wheat-like flower spikes in late summer.

This flower grouping will come into bloom in early August and bloom until frost.

Sunset hyssop and silver sage are both Plant Select recommendations.

Photograph: Judy Sedbrook

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010