‘Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me and I shall be made whiter than snow.’
– Psalms, 50:9
Hyssop’s frequent mention in the Bible and its botanical identity has long courted controversy amongst scholars. is the Hebrew ‘ēzōb used by the priests to sprinkle blood and water in the Old Testament the same herb as that celebrated by King Solomon in 1 Kings 4:33? Hyssop is currently experiencing a wave of popularity, ever since scientists discovered that the mould that appears on its decaying leaves belongs to the genus Penicillium. As a garden herb, hyssop is an absolute magnet for bees and butterflies, and in the kitchen, both the flowers and the leaves are great additions to fresh salads. Crystallising the flowers in sugar, meanwhile, is a beautiful (and delicious!) way to decorate desserts!