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Hyssopus officinalis.

Botanical name:

Hyssopus officinalis Linn. Labiatae. Hyssop.

Europe and temperate Asia. Hyssop was once considerably employed in domestic medicine. From the frequent mention made of it in Scripture, we may infer that it grew wild in Syria and Egypt. In French and Italian cookery, the tops of the young shoots are sometimes used in soups. In 1597, Gerarde figures three varieties; in 1683, Worlidge names it among culinary herbs in England, but says it is more valued for medicine; in 1778, Mawe describes six varieties, and says the plant is generally cultivated in the kitchen garden; in 1806, McMahon includes hyssop in his list of kitchen aromatics for American gardens. Hyssop is mentioned among European garden plants by Albertus Magnus in the thirteenth century and in nearly all the later botanies, Ray enumerating it also as an ornamental plant, in nine varieties. As an ornamental plant, hyssop is deserving of notice but its present use in American gardens must be very limited. It is mentioned by Paulus Aegnita, in the seventh century, as a medicinal plant. It is said by Fessenden, 1828, to be occasionally used as a potherb. At present, it has become naturalized as an escape from gardens in Michigan. In France, hyssop is grown in the flower gardens.

Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.

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