Hyssopus officinalis L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Hyssopus officinalis' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/hyssopus/hyssopus-officinalis/). Accessed 2019-12-14.

Genus

Common Names

  • Hyssop

Other species in genus

    Glossary

    aristate
    Bearing a stiff awn.
    axillary
    Situated in an axil.
    calyx
    (pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
    exserted
    Protruding; pushed out.
    fastigiate
    (of a tree or shrub) Narrow in form with ascending branches held more or less parallel to the trunk.
    glabrous
    Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
    glandular
    Bearing glands.
    linear
    Strap-shaped.
    panicle
    A much-branched inflorescence. paniculate Having the form of a panicle.
    subspecies
    (subsp.) Taxonomic rank for a group of organisms showing the principal characters of a species but with significant definable morphological differentiation. A subspecies occurs in populations that can occupy a distinct geographical range or habitat.
    whorl
    Arrangement of three or more organs (leaves flowers) around a central axis. whorled Arranged in a whorl.

    References

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    Credits

    Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

    Recommended citation
    'Hyssopus officinalis' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/hyssopus/hyssopus-officinalis/). Accessed 2019-12-14.

    A low, partially evergreen, aromatic bush, quite woody at the base, 112 to 2 ft high; shoots erect, green, square, covered when young with minute down. Leaves opposite, linear or narrowly oval, 13 to 112 in. long, 116 to 14 in. wide, tapered at both ends, very minutely toothed, or roughened at the edges, rich green, glandular-punctate on both surfaces. Flowers produced in close, axillary whorls on the shoots of the year, forming a terminal panicle, and starting to open about midsummer and continuing until September. From six to twelve or more flowers appear in each whorl, and they of a bluish purple shade in the type, about 12 in. long, two-lipped. Stamens exserted. As in all the labiates the fruit consists of four nutlets. The leaves and young shoots have a pleasant mint-like scent. Bot. Mag., t. 2299.

    Native of S. Europe, in the Mediterranean region, and W. Asia. Cultivated as a medicinal herb in England since 1548, probably long before. An infusion of hyssop is an old-fashioned remedy for removing phlegm. It is an easily cultivated plant requiring a warm, light soil, and is easily increased by cuttings during the summer and autumn. There is a white-flowered form, f. albus (West.) Schneid., and one with red flowers, f. ruber (West.) Hegi, both known in the wild and both in cultivation since at least the 18th century.

    H. officinalis is a variable species. A race found in the central and eastern Pyrenees was named H. aristatus by Godron but has been treated as a subspecies by later authorities. The distinguishing characters given are: leaves of a cheerful green, glabrous, scarcely glandular-punctate beneath; flowers in dense spikes; bracts and calyx-teeth terminated by fine, long, aristate tips. Cultivated plants are of dense rather fastigiate habit, 114 to 112 ft high.


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