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Anise

 
Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is native to the Middle East and has been used as a medicine and as a flavor for medicine since prehistoric times. Ancient Romans hung Anise plants near their pillows to prevent bad dreams. They also used Anise to aid digestion and ward off epileptic attacks. Colonists in the New World used it as a medicinal crop too.
Anise is the dried ripe fruit of the herb Pimpinella anisum. The crescent shaped seeds are unmistakably identified by their distinctive licorice-like flavor.
Description
Anise is a dainty annual that grows from 1 to 2 feet high. It has finely cut, serrated leaves and very small, whitish flowers in flat clusters. The leaves and seeds have a warm, sweet taste that suggests licorice.

Culture
Anise grows rapidly from seed. Plant after all danger of frost has passed. If planted in rows, thin to 6 to 8 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart.

Harvesting
The green leaves can be cut whenever plants are large enough. Gather seeds about 1 month after flowers bloom.

Use
Anise leaves can be used in salads and as a garnish. Use the seeds to flavor confections such as cakes and cookies. Oil from anise seed is used in medicine.

"Adapted from publication NE-208, produced by the Cooperative Extension Services of the Northeast States."

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