Hyssopus is a genus of about 10 species of herbaceous perennials and evergreen shrubs in the family Lamiaceae, native to southern and eastern Europe and the temperate zones of Asia. The plant has erect, branched stems, small narrow leaves and double-lipped flowers that are highly attractive to hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators.
Meaning: The genus name is derived from the Greek word “hyssopus”, itself derived from the Hebrew “ezov”, meaning “holy herb”. In the Bible, ezov is described as a small plant with an aromatic odour, which was used in ritual cleansing. However, a recent source suggests that the biblical ezov was a common term for certain plants belonging to the genus Origanum.
Symbolism: Hyssopus symbolizes protection, health, cleanliness and sacrifice. It is also said to symbolize penitence, humility and modesty.