:"Hyssopus can also refer to a genus of Hymenopteran insects of the family Eulophidae.":"For the biblical plant usually translated as hyssop, see Ezob".

name = Hyssop

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Herb Hyssop "Hyssopus officinalis"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Lamiales
familia = Lamiaceae
genus = "Hyssopus"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text

Hyssop ("Hyssopus") is a genus of about 10-12 species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants in the family Lamiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to central Asiacite web
title=Spotlight on Hyssop
] . They are aromatic, with erect branched stems up to 60 cm long covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are narrow oblong, 2-5 cm long. The small blue flowers are borne on the upper part of the branches during summer. By far the best-known species is the Herb Hyssop ("H. officinalis"), widely cultivated outside its native area in the Mediterranean.



The name 'hyssop' can be traced back almost unchanged through the Greek "hyssopos" and Hebrew "esob"cite web
title=Spotlight on Hyssop
] . In the New Testament, a sponge soaked in sour wine or vinegar was stuck on a branch of hyssop and offered to Jesus of Nazareth on the cross just before he died [bibleref|John|19:29] . Both Matthew and Mark mention the occasion but refer to the plant using the general term "kalamos", which is translated as "reed" or "stick". The Book of Exodus records that the blood of the sacrifices was applied to the doorposts using hyssop on the night of Passover. Its purgative properties are also mentioned in the Book of Psalms. [bibleref|Psalms|51:7]

The seeds are sown in spring and the seedlings planted out 40-50 cm apart. Hyssop can also be propagated from heel cuttings or root division in spring or autumn. Hyssop should be grown in full sun on well drained soil, and will benefit from occasional clipping. It is short-lived, and the plants will need to be replaced every few years. Ideal for use as a low hedge or border within the herb garden.

Hyssop also has uses in the garden, it is said to be a good companion plant to cabbage, partly because it will lure away the Cabbage White butterflycite web
title=Companion Gardening - compatible plants
] . It has also "been found to improve the yield from grapevines if planted along the rows, particularly if the terrain is rocky or sandy, and the soil is not as easy to work as it might be" [cite book
title=The Book of Herbs
] . Hyssop is said to be antagonistic to radishes, and they should not be grown nearby. Hyssop also attracts bees, hoverflies and butterflies, thus has a place in the wild garden as well as being useful in controlling pests and encouraging pollination without the use of unnatural methods.

Hyssop leaves can be preserved by dryingcite web
title=Spotlight on Hyssop
] . They should be harvested on a dry day at the peak of their maturity and the concentration of active ingredients is highest. They should be dried quickly, away from bright sunlight in order to preserve their aromatic ingredients and prevent oxidation of other chemicals. Good air circulation is required, such as an airing cupboard with the door left open, or a sunny room, aiming for a temperature of 20-32°C. Hyssop leaves should dry out in about six days, any longer and they will begin to discolour and lose their flavourcite web
title=Spotlight on Hyssop
] . The dried leaves are stored in clean, dry, labelled airtight containers, and will keep for 12-18 months.

Hyssop is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Cabbage Moth.


Hyssop is used as an ingredient in eau de Cologne and the liqueur Chartreuse. It is also used to color the liquor Absinthe, along with melissa and Roman wormwood.cite web
title=How Absinthe is Made I - Absinthe Cultivation in Pontarlier
] Hyssop is also used, usually in combination with other herbs such as liquoricecite web
title=A history of the therapeutic use of liquorice in Europe
] , in herbal remedies, especially for lung conditions.cite web
title=Herbs > Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

Culinary use

Hyssop leaves have a slightly bitter minty flavour and can be added to soups, saladsor meats, although should be used sparingly as the flavour is very strong.

See also

*Genus Agastache, commonly known as Giant Hyssop


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hyssop — • A plant which is referred to in a few passages of Holy Writ, and which cannot be identified with certainty at the present day Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Hyssop     Hyssop …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • HYSSOP — (Heb. אֵזוֹב), small plant that grows in rocks and stone walls. The Greek hyssōpos is used to translate Hebrew ēzôb on account of phonetic similarity, but in reality the plants are different; the ēzôb of the Bible, or Syrian hyssop, is known to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hyssop — Hys sop, n. [OE. hysope, ysope, OF. ysope, F. hysope, hyssope, L. hysopum, hyssopum, hyssopus, Gr. ?, ?, an aromatic plant, fr. Heb. [=e]sov.] A plant ({Hyssopus officinalis}). The leaves have an aromatic smell, and a warm, pungent taste. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hyssop — O.E. ysope, from Irish Latin hysopus, from Gk. hyssopos, a plant of Palestine, used in Jewish purification rites, from Heb. ezobh (Cf. Syriac zupha, Arabic zufa) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hyssop — ► NOUN 1) a small bushy aromatic plant whose leaves are used in cookery and herbal medicine. 2) (in biblical use) a wild shrub whose twigs were used in ancient Jewish rites of purification. ORIGIN Greek hyss pos, of Semitic origin …   English terms dictionary

  • hyssop — [his′əp] n. [ME isope < OE & OFr ysope < L hyssopus < Gr hyssōpos, hyssōpon < Heb ēzōbh] 1. a) a fragrant herb (Hyssopus officinalis) of the mint family, usually with blue flowers, having leaves once used in folk medicine as a tonic,… …   English World dictionary

  • hyssop — /his euhp/, n. 1. any of several aromatic herbs belonging to the genus Hyssopus, of the mint family, esp. H. officinalis, native to Europe, having clusters of small blue flowers. 2. any of several related or similar plants, esp. of the genera… …   Universalium

  • hyssop — Plants related to marjoram which were tied together in a bunch for sprinkling water in ritual purifications. The reference to hyssop at the crucifixion (John 19:29) is puzzling, since the stem of this plant is not tough enough to bear the weight… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • hyssop — noun Etymology: Middle English ysop, from Old English ysope, from Latin hyssopus, from Greek hyssōpos, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew ēzōbh hyssop Date: before 12th century 1. a plant used in purificatory sprinkling rites by the ancient… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • hyssop — vaistinis isopas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Notrelinių šeimos prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Hyssopus officinalis), paplitęs Azijos vakaruose, Europos pietuose ir Afrikos šiaurėje. Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams) gaminti.… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

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