Anise is responsible for much of the licorice flavouring in bakery goods, liqueurs, teas and chewing gum. Also known as aniseed, it is an aromatic annual with stalked, toothed leaves. The slender flowering stems bear compound umbels of white flowers followed by ridged grey seeds. Plant your seedlings in enriched, light, well-drained and fairly neutral soil. Sow the seeds directly in spring.  It is important that the plants are kept free of weeds. Anise repels aphids and attracts wasps. Cut anise when the seeds are fully developed. Tie bunches inside paper bags and hang them upside-down to dry and harvest the seeds. Harvest the leaves as required. You will have to dig up the roots in autumn.

Anise And Orange Tea
Aniseed And Orange Tea

Anise seeds and oil are used throughout Europe in drinks such as pastis, ouzo and raki. I have had much experience with these – drink in moderation! Use the seeds whole or crushed, but for the best flavour, grind them when you need them. Add to tomato based dishes, vegetable and seafood dishes, curries, pickles, soups and stews. Add a few young leaves to salads, fruit and cooked vegetables.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

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14 thoughts on “Anise

  1. Anise and fennel are the only two herbs that I don’t really enjoy – my Mom and aunt on the other hand love them and want to know what’s wrong with me for not enjoying them.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. Some flavours just do not work for everyone! I love fennel but it took me a long time to eat coriander which most people also don’t enjoy 🙂

  2. Thanks Tandy! I’ve never though of growing anise on my own. That’s interesting! I just need to know whether I can grow it in pots, but I think so (almost everything can be successfully grown in pots). P.S. I love coriander and fennel, too. I just love all herbs, actually! 😛

    1. I have grown all my herbs in pots before we had a garden and some do better than others – but they are so cheap to plant that it is worth trying 🙂

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