Upright perennial over 1m tall, hardly branched. Leaves to 8 cm long, 4.5 cm wide, more or less ovate, tip pointed, margins toothed, lower surface hairy to waxy-white, smelling of aniseed when crushed; leaf stalks to 2 cm long. Flower clusters in dense cylindrical spikes to 10 cm long. Flowers blue or white, with long-pointed, ovate, often purplish bracts, floral tube about 7 mm long. [A. anisata hort.]
Sometimes this species or those below are used as a flavouring or food seasoning, occasionally in drinks, especially teas; Korean Mint (A.rugosa) is used as a mouthwash and for wounds and fevers. Most are attractive to bees.
Other species occasionally cultivated include
A. mexicana (Kunth) Lint & Epling which is about 0.5 m tall with dark pink to crimson flowers;
A. nepetoides (L.) Kuntze, Yellow Giant Hyssop, from N America which grows over 1 m tall with yellow-green flowers;
A. rugosa (Fisch. & C.A. Mey.) O. Kuntze, Korean Mint (Wrinkled Giant Hyssop), which grows over 1m tall with blue-mauve flower heads up to 20 cm long.
Source: (2002). Lamiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.