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Edible uses


Leaves and young shoot tips - raw or used as a flavouring in soups, salads etc[1][2][3]. A strongly aromatic flavour, somewhat like a cross between sage and mint, it has fallen out of favour in recent years[1][4]. It can be used fresh or dried[5].

Flowers - raw. Added to salads[3].

An essential oil from the plant is used as a food flavouring[3].

Unknown part



Material uses

Hyssop can be grown as a dwarf hedge, it responds well to trimming in the spring[2][6][7].

The growing plant attracts cabbage white butterflies away from brassicas[2][8][9]. Another report says that hyssop attracts cabbage white butterflies and should not be grown near cabbages[10]. An essential oil from the leaves is antiseptic and also used in perfumery and as a food flavouring[11][10]. It has a particularly fine odour and is much valued by perfumers[1]. Average yields of the oil are about 0.6%[12]. Yields from the blue-flowered variety are 1 - 1.5% essential oil, the red-flowered variety yields about 0.8%, whilst the white-flowered form yields 0.5% essential oil[13]. The plant was formerly used as a strewing herb[1][11] and is also used in pot-pourri[14]. A tea made from the leaves is useful for controlling bacterial plant diseases[10].

Plants can be grown for ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way[15].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Hyssop has a long history of medicinal use and was so highly esteemed in the past that it was considered to be a virtual cure-all[16]. Currently an undervalued herb, it is often used as a household remedy, particularly as an expectorant and stomach tonic[1][16]. It has a positive effect when used to treat bronchitis and respiratory infections, especially where there is excessive mucous production[16]. Hyssop can irritate the mucous membranes, so it is best given after an infection has peaked, when the herb's tonic action encourages a general recovery[16]. The plant should not be used by pregnant women, however, since in large quantities it can induce a miscarriage[12].

The leaves and flowering tops are antiseptic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, pectoral, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator[1][12][17][5][18][4]. The plant can be harvested when in full flower and dried for later use[1]. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of flatulence, stomach-aches, upper respiratory tract infections, coughs in children etc[19][4]. A poultice made from the fresh herb is used to heal wounds[1][4].

The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Stability'[20]. This oil should not be used on people who are highly strung as it can cause epileptic symptoms[12][16]. The essential oil should not be used internally except under professional supervision[16].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover



Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Very easy, the seed germinates quickly. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 7 cm with a heel, June/July in a frame[21][22]. Fairly easy, the cuttings root quite quickly. Grow on the plants in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of greenwood, 5 - 7 cm with a heel, April/May in a frame[23]. Plant out in the summer.

Division in spring or autumn[23][1].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Hyssopus officinalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a light, dry calcareous soil and a sunny position[23][2][24][6].

A very cold-hardy plant, when dormant it can tolerate temperatures down to about -25°c[25]. Hyssop has very aromatic leaves and is commonly grown in the herb garden where it makes a good edging plant to a border[1]. There are some named varieties[3]. The plant needs to be trimmed regularly to keep it in shape, untrimmed plants will soon degenerate. Spring is the best time to trim the plants[4]. It is probably best to replace the plants every few years. The flowers have a rich aromatic fragrance[14].

Hyssop is a very good plant for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden[1][9]. It is a good companion plant to grow with grapes, but it grows badly with radishes[2][8][9].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Hyssopus officinalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Hyssopus officinalis.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Hyssopus officinalis
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    1. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    3. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    4. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    5. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    6. ? Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    8. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)
    9. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    10. ? Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993-00-00)
    11. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    14. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    16. ? Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    19. ? 19.019.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.1 Westwood. C. Aromatherapy - A guide for home use. Amberwood Publishing Ltd ISBN 0-9517723-0-9 (1993-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    22. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    23. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    24. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
    25. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)

    Cite error: <ref> tag with name "PFAFimport-17" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.

    "image:Illustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Hyssopus officinalis"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyLabiatae +
    Belongs to genusHyssopus +
    Functions asGround cover + and Hedge +
    Has common nameHyssop +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +, Flowers + and Leaves +
    Has edible useSeasoning + and Unknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile + and Bee +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone7 +
    Has imageIllustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useEssential +, Fungicide +, Pot-pourri +, Repellent + and Strewing +
    Has mature height0.6 +
    Has mature width0.6 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntiseptic +, Aromatherapy +, Astringent +, Carminative +, Diaphoretic +, Emmenagogue +, Expectorant +, Pectoral +, Stimulant +, Stomachic +, Tonic + and Vasodilator +
    Has primary imageIllustration Hyssopus officinalis0.jpg +
    Has search namehyssopus officinalis + and x +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceNeutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
    Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomy nameHyssopus officinalis +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +