ANISE (Pimpinella anisum)

By The Old House Web

ANISE (Pimpinella anisum)

Anise is grown mostly for its licorice-flavored seeds that are used in cakes, cookies, liqueurs, and cordials. However, the leaves are also used in salads, as a garnish, for making tea, and to scent sachets and pot-pourris.

Anise is an annual that grows 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. The lower leaves are broad and lobed, while the upper leaves are finely cut and feathery. Small whitish flowers are produced in flat clusters in midsummer.

Sow anise seeds in early spring about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in a moist, sunny location. When the seedlings are 3 inches tall, thin them to 6 to 8 inches apart. The green leaves can be cut whenever the plants are large enough. Gather the seeds when they are gray green and the stems turn yellow. Soak the seed heads in warm water, drain them, then lay them out in a warm, well-ventilated area. When the seeds are dry, remove and store them in a tight container.

SOURCE: James C. Schmidt Department of Horticulture Michigan State University

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