Anise is native to the eastern Mediterranean and is one of the oldest known spice plants, used both for culinary and medicinal purposes, thanks to its sweet and very aromatic licorice-y flavour. Through the Romans, who served anise-spiced cakes after heavy meals to aid digestion, it was spread throughout Europe by Roman legions. Anise seeds, whole or ground up, are used in teas and for confectionery purposes, as well as in a wide variety of regional and ethnic liqueurs, e.g., Greek ouzo, Italian sambuca and French pastis, just to name a few. Of its many qualities, ‘it stirreth up bodily lust’, wards off the evil eye and keeps nightmares away if placed under one’s pillow.
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- LATIN NAME
It’s the spice that wards off the evil eye.
Height 60 cm
Width 60 cm
Height 30 cm
Width 30 cm
Coriander, beans. Do not plant nearby carrots.
Indoor Not required
Germination 10-15 days
Harvesting 120 days
When sowing 3-5 cm; Depth 0,5 cm
When thinning 20 cm
Sunligth Full sun
Soil Well-drained, light and fertile soil
Watering Regular watering, allow to dry out
Feeding Light feeder
Expert tip Anise plants are annuals, but their lives can be extended by bringing them indoors before the first frost of autumn.
Pollinators Attracts bees, butterflies and birds.
Pests Attracts wasps that, in turn, eat aphids that host off nearby plants
Harvest seeds from late summer to early autumn, when seeds have turned brown and fall easily from the head. Cut the flower stems and seed heads, and hang the stalks upside down in a warm, dry, shady place.
Medicinal properties Anise seeds, when chewed raw, are a miracle remedy for any digestive issues.
How to eat Anise seeds are used in baking to add flavour to gourmet bread and to enhance the sweetness of pastries, cakes and cookies. Hard anise candies, rolled in powdered sugar, are an old-fashioned home recipe.