Agastache

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Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

I'm amazed to see how well the Brittoniastrum Agastache (the prettiest ones from the Southwest that is) do all over the USA. I have been party to the introduction of some of the first species. Someday I must tell the whole story: we owe a huge debt to two people, Jim Knopf and Rich Dufresne, who really are responsible for getting these into cultivation. I first encountered Agastache cana through Jim, who was growing it in his Boulder Garden. I helped him proof his first book http://www.amazon.com/Xeriscape-Flower-Gardener-Waterwise-Mountain/dp/1555660770/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299211839&sr=1-1 wherein he mentions Agastache cana: I asked him what the heck it was (that's a plant that didn't exist outside his book as far as I could tell): he had obtained it years earlier from Plants of the Southwest, who no longer grew it. So he essentially had the only plants in cultivation. We propagated his plants and distributed them locally through Denver Botanic Gardens, and the rest is history. This was around 1989. Where there's smoke there's fire...Rich Dufresne had produced a few hybrids offered by Loggee's that were extremely colorful (Firebird was one of them) and I got these: they were fabulous. Rich told me Agastache rupestris was the queen of the group, and I had to have it. Sallie Walker of Tucson agreed to seek it out and sent us seed back in 1994 or so. It was an immediate hit: I even managed to get it to produce enough seed so we could introduce it through Plant Select in 1997! A few years later she got seed of A. barberi and A. aurantiaca...and then the hybrids keep showing up ever since. It is amazing to be near the genesis of a whole new spectrum of hybrids like this. Unlike most of the Echinaceas, these are even growable!

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Nice group of plants! I've looked at the Alplains offerings before (10species/forms), several rated Z4-6, so Lori's success with the Z7 pringlei is encouraging.. The orange/red species sound most interesting to me. since orange flowers especially are rare around here...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Fermi
Fermi's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-03-03

Agastaches are proving popular on this side of the Pacific as well!
I've grown a couple from NARGS Seedex seeds but currently we only have what I think is A. ruprestris grown from seed by a friend who had a little nursery before he "downsized" to a smaller block. I love the colours and the scent.
cheers
fermi

Fermi de Sousa,
Central Victoria, Australia
Min: -7C, Max: +40C

Mikkelsen
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-09-04

Agastache urticifolia is a native of Utah mountains and one that I grow.  It grows quickly from seed, flowers the first year and purple flowers.  I collect seed from the plants that grow on semi-windswept ridges and full sun since they are much more compact and they keep this form when I grow them down in the valley.  The aroma from them has a gentle licorice scent during the night but when the sun is beating hard on them... Wow!

I never cut them back in the fall so the small birds can have a piece of refuge during the winter months.  Cutting them back in the spring has never seemed to affect the Agastache in any adverse way.

I sent a few 1000 seeds to the Seedex but I don't see them listed there as surplus seed.  I'll send more this year and I'll keep the seed collecting to the full sun, semi-windswept ridges. 

This is a great thread!

Above All, Peace,
James 

Margin of the Great Basin Desert & Wasatch Mountains
4350' (1326m) Elevation; Zone 5a - 7a; 5 miles from the
climate moderating effects of The Great Salt Lake, Utah
J. Mikkelsen

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

It sure looks like another nice one - I'll keep a lookout for seed next year!  The aroma sounds wonderful - I really like the extra dimension that fragrant foliage adds to a plant... or at least I assume it's the foliage that has the licorice scent? 

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Mikkelsen
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-09-04

Quote:

I really like the extra dimension that fragrant foliage adds to a plant... or at least I assume it's the foliage that has the licorice scent?

It is indeed from the foliage.  I usually bring some of the leaves down from the mountains (Oh, how it reminds me of camping!), clean it and store it until winter.  In the winter months I make tea from the leaves but it does need something sweet added to it.  I use Blue Agave syrup so I get a good dose of two summer plants!

If you haven't tried Blue Agave syrup or other Agave syrups, do so.  They're very tasty and are generally 1.5X sweeter than sugar.

Margin of the Great Basin Desert & Wasatch Mountains
4350' (1326m) Elevation; Zone 5a - 7a; 5 miles from the
climate moderating effects of The Great Salt Lake, Utah
J. Mikkelsen

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Earlier this year I received an order of Agastache from High Country Gardens; to see a list of Agastache available from this fine nursery, click this link:
http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/11820/

High Country Gardens chief horticulturist David Salman selected for me 5 different Agastache that he thought might do well enough in New England, so I'm happy to try them out. David is also a force in the current enlightenment on this fine genus and a leading player in hybridization efforts; some of the High Country Gardens cultivars look amazing.

An important thing to note is just how well the plants were shipped.  In the photo you can see that plants are shipped with pots and soil; a technique that I've had bad luck with in the past, due to the weight of the pots jostling about in the box leading to major breakage.  However, High Country Gardens takes special precautions to hold both the soil in the pots, and hold the pots steadfastly positioned in the shipping box, a clever solution!  A thin styrofoam inset covers the soil around the pots, held in place with rubber bands.  There are cardboard "holders" inside the box that snugly hold the pots in place; wish I had taken a photo to show here.  Note: the box in the photo is not the box used for shipping... I had transferred the pots to an old low-sided box for the photograph, so the plants could be seen better.

Agastache 'Ava', Zones 5-10, 4-5’ x 24” wide, (Ava's Hummingbird Mint), a hybrid between A. cana and barberi.
Quote from the High Country Gardens catalog:
"Unlike any other Agastache I’ve grown, Ava’s calyxes retain their intense coloration keeping the plant beautiful until hard frost"

Some views of Agastache 'Ava' growing here this summer, from plants shipped to me.  The flowers last all summer long, and as David Salman points out, the colorful calyxes make the flower stalks look substantial and highly colored.  Supposed to be good for dried cut flowers as well.

Agastache 'Pstessene' (Coronado®), Zones 6b(-5 degrees F) to 9, 24-30” x 18” wide, (Coronado Red Hummingbird Mint).
When I try and pronounce the first name, I just spit and sputter some air, so I'll call it after the trademark name of Coronado.
http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/11840/

Agastache Coronado & Agastache 'Blue Blazes'
Coronado is a young plant, but very brightly colored, I can imagine if it succeeds here and bulks up in size, it could make quite a show.
Next to it is Agastache 'Blue Blazes', the purple in the bracts setting off the blue florets.

Agastache 'Blue Blazes', Zones 5 - 9, 36in. to 5ft., (Blue Blazes Hyssop)
To quote High Country Gardens catalog "Blue Blazes is an amazing hybrid between our own Agastache ‘Desert Sunrise’ (introduced in 2000) and the blue flowered eastern native Agastache foeniculatum. Bred by Kelly Grummons, owner of Timberline Gardens in Arvada, CO."

Also being tried here is A. cana (bright raspberry pink) and A. neomexicana (lavender).

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

The colors are really captivating, Mark.

First year from seed (but not by me), I am happy with Agastache aurantiaca.

             

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

It's such a nice warm shade of orange.  I've lost my A. aurantiaca but still have a few plants of spontaneous A. aurantiaca x rupestris crosses.  The tip I was given to help overwinter them, do not cut off the stems until spring after leaf-out.  I'm interested in learning how your's overwinters in MI.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I'll take your advice, Mark, and let you know next year - if I remember, that is. 

No one need be shy about reminding me... :D

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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