The scientific name for Anise is Pimpinella anisum. This plant is a warm season annual that is grown from seeds.
It grows to a height of 24 inches and should be planted 10 inches apart.
A low spreading bushy plant, this herb has lower leaves that are broad and lobed while the upper leaves are feathery. The herb flowers in mid-summer and has small yellowish-white flowers in umbrella shaped clusters.
This herb should be planted in full sun in well-drained soil. Planting can occur as soon as there are no more frost nd it requires around 120 frost free days to grow.
The seeds should be planted 1/4 inch apart and thinned to 12 inches apart when the seedlings are six weeks old. Rows should be between 18 to 24 inches apart.
The plants need regular watering during the growing season but does not need any special feeding.
Uses of Anise
The leaves of the plant are classified as an herb and may be used in salads and in fish soups.
Whereas the seeds (often called aniseed or anise seeds) are used as a spice for flavouring many dishes and beverages. Aniseed is frquently used is used in breads, cakes, confectionary and beverages.
Interestingly, the seeds are the base for a number of alcoholic beverages, namely absinthe, anisette, ouzo and sambuca.
Aniseed is thought to be beneficial for our main organs including the lung, heart, liver and brain. The oil extracted from the seeds contains anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antiseptic and stimulant properties, and aids the body to control and get rid of any excess of estrogen it does not need.
Drinking tea made with the leaves of this herb or chewing the seeds can help to control bad breath, and can be very effective in the treatment of gas, bloating, nausea and colic.
The leaves of this plant can be snipped for use as required but the seeds need at least 100 frost free days before you can harvest them. The seed heads should be harvested while they are still green and hun in a warm dry place to be threshed when thorough dry.