Mystery herb

Do you ever see something coming up in your gardens in the spring and think, “What in the world IS that?  Did I plant that?”  I’m embarrassed to admit how often this happens to me.  (I guess that’s probably a statement about the amount of impulse-buy plants included in my gardens.)

I’ve got a perennial herb in my garden that I don’t have a clue what it is. I know it’s a perennial, because it came up as a big clump this spring, and I know it’s an herb, because it’s in the “herb” row of my vegetable garden.  Unfortunately, that’s about as far as I can get.  (I know, I’m really losing it.)  I know it’s not mint (which it kind of looks like) because I’m afraid of mint’s aggressive tendencies, so I never buy it.

I had some family members over the other night and had them check it out—none of them had a clue, either.  But my brother-in-law suggested that I post a picture of it on my blog, and certainly one of my wonderful readers would know what it is.  I said I thought that was a fantastic idea.  (Thanks, Roger!)

So here is a picture of the mystery herb.

Mystery herb

And here is a picture of a sprig of the mystery herb (on the right) next to a sprig of oregano, so you can see the difference in size.

Oregano and mystery herb

It smells maybe a just a tad licorice-y and maybe just a tad minty.  If you have any idea what this herb might be, please share!  I’ve been making everyone in my family smell it and taste it and I think they’re getting sick of me.  :)

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3 Responses to Mystery herb

  1. Mary L says:

    Sandi: Check the stem of this mystery herb. If it is square, then it is in the mint family. That may narrow it down for you. It does look like some kind of mint to me too.

  2. Beth Hoover says:

    Strongly resembles Bergamot which can be used with or as a tea. If the flowers are rose colored, could be.

  3. Mark Fulton says:

    Hard to be sure without flowers and more detail, but the licorice smell and the arrangement/shape of the leaves make me think of Anise Hyssop or Giant Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). Like oregano and spearmint and dozens of others, hyssop is in the mint family, and it’s a native herb.

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