Aniseed, also called Anise is the fruit or seed from the planet, Pimpinella anisum. Anise is native to and the eastern Mediterranean region, and is cultivated in southern Europe, southern Russia, teh Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, China, Chile, Mexico, and the United States. Aniseeds have a distinctive licorice-like flavor and have been used for medicinal purposes throughout history, especially as a digestive aid.

Anise is one of the oldest known seeds. Ancient Egyptians and Romans used anise as a spice, and it has also been used throughout history for medicinal purposes and for is fragrance. There is evidence that anise was used in Egypt as early as 1500 B.C. Romans enjoyed anise-spiced cakes after heavy meals to aid digestion and they hung anise plants near their pillows to prevent bad dreams, their wedding ceremonies ended with the breaking of a cake containing anise over the bride’s head as a symbol of good fortune. In Europe anise has been in use since the fourteenth century and has been cultivated in English gardens from the middle of the 16th.


Description and Cultivation 

Aniseed is a herbaceous annual plant with an average height of 30 to 50 cm. It has long-stalked basal leaves and shorter, stalked stem leaves. The leaves are simple, 1.3-5.1 cm long The flowers are white, approximately 3 mm diameter and whitish, mumerous in open thin, compound umbrels, followed by the fruit. Fruit looks like ribbed seeds and is often referred to as seed, is 3-5 mm long, oval in shape, the colour is grey-green or greenish-brown when ripe. The plant is completely covered with fine hairs. Anise is harvested as the seeds change colour to grey-green. Aniseed can be grown in a sunny, sheltered spot. It is propagated by seed in early spring in a sunny, sheltered area in light, dry loam. It should does not like pot prowing or to be transplanted. It will not produce ripe seeds in northern climates without a long, hot summer.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom : Plantea
Division : Spermatophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Order : Apiales
Family : Apiaceae
Genius : Pimpinella
Species : Pimpinella anisum