Aniseed, Anise Seed
Anise seeds flavor soups, cookies, cheese spreads, and applesauce. Seeds and leaves carry sweet, licorice-like flavor, make a comforting tea; traditionally employed as treatment for sore throats, indigestion, and flatulence. Chew seeds to freshen breath. Anise essential oil is used to flavor licorice candy. Use feathery leaves fresh in salads and soups.
Umbrella-like clusters of tiny, white flowers bloom in July, attract butterflies, bees, and beneficial insects. Seed heads attract birds. Anise is an annual, the plants grow to 2-3′ tall.
How to Plant Anise Seeds
Direct sow anise seed into prepared seed beds in early spring, when the ground has warmed. Sow seed, ¼″ deep, 1-2 seeds per inch, in rows spaced 18″ apart. Kept at 68°F., germination is in 7-14 days. Thin anise seedlings to 6″ apart.
Growing anise: Full sun, regular water. Seed heads attract birds. Plants are deer resistant. Harvest leaves anytime during the growing season. Flower heads turn gray-brown in fall, cut and place in paper bags or spread out on trays and dry in direct sun. Once seed is dried, can be stored whole or powdered in airtight containers.