I’m trying to identify a wild plant. The flowers smell like black licorice when you pinch them. I am unsure of its growing conditions besides its being in a small clearing in a forest near Thunder Bay Ontario.
This appears to be Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) – See Illinois Wildflowers. Anise Hyssop for a photo and more detailed description. These plants have purplish flowers, and both leaves and flowers smell like black licorice when pinched.
There are a few other plants with licorice-scented flowers:
Sweet cicely (Myrrhis odorata) has small white flowers that bloom in clusters. All portions of the plant can be eaten and smell like anise/licorice.
Angelica (Angelica archangelica) flowers can range in colour from a light violet to a deep red, and its flowers taste mildly of licorice. Its stalks resemble celery – it’s also called wild celery.
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) leaves and (small white) flowers taste of licorice as well.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) has small yellow flowers and leaves with a mild licorice flavour.
You may be interested in West Coast Seeds’ List of edible flowers.
I suggest that you have the plant positively identified if you are considering consuming any part of it.