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November 2018  KSNH News and Events

Our lunch is on for November 8 for lunch around 11:30 am at General Butler State Resort Park.  Just send your reply to  Thanks and we hope to see you there.  We may discuss a few pending things dealing with the Society.
Here's a list of those naturalist attending:

Berl and Pat
Chris, Mary Alice and Susan
Pat B.
Richard and Vicki
Larry H

Mary Jane and Pete (possible)
Giant Hyssop honey was viewed as a special delicious treat.

Horticultural and manufacturing usages of Giant Hyssops revolve around their economic importance.  Agastache nepetoides and A. scrophulariifolia plants, seeds, rootstocks, and their cultivars are sold by nurseries and trade companies as ornamentals for landscaping, and as proven attractors for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds so valuable for garden/crop pollination. The many pollinators are rewarded with the Hyssops rich nectar and pollen. Giant Hyssops are a favorite with beekeepers.  Giant Hyssops combine/mix in nicely as plants to black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia), blazing stars (Liatris), and sunflowers (Heliathus). These tall beautiful native wildflowers provide valuable resources and aesthetic appeal to man and fauna.  Folklore practices concerning Giant Hyssops has dried plants hung in the home as having powers to drive
out evil and negativity. Floriography has Agastache plants with symbolic meanings of cleanliness,
holiness, healing powers, protection from evil, spiritual cleaning, and body-spirit protection.
Propagation of Giant Yellow and Purple Hyssops can be by seeds (after cold stratification), rhizomes, rootstocks, and spring cuttings. They can also self-pollinate which may explain their heterozygosity.

Hyssops transplant readily in early stages. Seed dispersal is achieved by seed/nutlet eating birds as
goldfinches, wrens, and sparrows. Wind may also disperse seeds by utilizing the hyssop seed’s hairs as airfoils or as “feathers”. Both Agastache nepetoides and scrophulariifolia are resistant to moderate drought and heat; tolerant of most soils except persistently wet habitats; and need full sun in warm climates (zones 3-6). Plants need limited competition especially from non-natives. Giant Hyssops are deer resistant and are not affected by the alleopathic capability of walnut trees. Agastaches are threatened by habitat loss, theft, extreme drought/heat, flooding, and natural succession. Giant Hyssops normally last 3-4 years.

Agastache nepetoides (Giant Yellow Hyssop) and A. scrophulariifolia (Giant Purple Hyssop) are two native Kentucky species that need our protection. These towering, robust, beautiful plants are not only aesthetic but useful to man and fauna. Look for Giant Hyssops in summer and fall. Marvel at their beauty and protect their habitats. One author caught up in Hyssops virtues/horticultural usages stated “A towering specimen in the shade garden, not for meek and mild. Do Not plant near mid/low height plants. Do plant near that jackass neighbor”!! I’ll end this paper on this whimsical thought provoking statement.

Chris Bidwell – Naturalist, past president KSNH
Mary Alice Bidwell – typing
Susan Wilson – photography
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
......please keep us informed about any address or email changes.

Berl Meyer

e-newsletter editor
Copyright © 2018 Kentucky Society of Natural History, All rights reserved.

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