Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Harvesting & Storage
Culinary & Medicinal
Nutrition & Health Benefits
Also Known As: Aniseed
Species Origin: Mediterranean, Southeast Asia
Ease of Growing: Moderate
Grown as: Annual
Hardiness: Tender-Anise is tender and will not tolerate any frost.
Crops: Spring Transplant, Spring
Growing Season: Long
Growing Conditions: Cool, Warm. Anise grows well in full sun and temperatures around 70˚ F.
Outdoor Growing Temp: 50°F - 90°F
Min Outdoor Soil Temp: 60°F. Germination is best at 70˚ F, but you can plant outside once the soil reaches 60˚ F.
Start Indoors: Yes
Start Outdoors: Yes
Light: Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Cool, Warm). Plant Anise in full sun.
Water: Moderate. Keep soil evenly moist (but not soggy) while germinating, watering once a day if necessary. Continue to keep the soil moist throughout the plant's life, especially during flowering and seed production - this is the most crucial time for the plant.
Feeder: Moderate. Anise has moderate nutrient requirements.
Small Gardens?: Yes
Attracts beneficial insects?: Yes
Containers?: Yes. Anise grows easily in containers. Containers should be at least 8" deep and wide.
Plant Diameter: 6-8"
Sow Depth: ¼”
Produces: feathery, fern-like foliage with numerous heads of clustered white flowers.
USDA Grow Zone: 4-9
Soil pH: 6.0-7.3, Ideal 6.5-7.0. Anise prefers a light, sandy soil that drains well.
Compost (Nitrogen), 2", in top 6" of soil, 1 time: Apply 2" of compost as a mulch to help suppress weeds and provide nutrients.
Water Needs: Moderate. Keep soil evenly moist (but not soggy) while germinating, watering once a day if necessary. Continue to keep the soil moist throughout the plant's life, especially during flowering and seed production - this is the most crucial time for the plant.
Fertilizer Needs: Moderate. Anise has moderate nutrient requirements.
Watering, regularly: Water, 0.5 inch(es), regularly, 2 times a week. Watering also depends on your local weather; don't water if it's raining, or water more frequently if it's dry. Just be sure to keep soil moist but never soggy for the best crop. The best way to know how much moisture is in your soil is to feel 2" below the soil line. If it's dry, water.
Weeding, regularly: regularly, every 3 weeks. Keep Anise well weeded, especially while young.
Thinning, when 4" tall: 8 inch(es) apart, when 4" tall, 1 time. When plants are 3 to 4" tall, thin them to their final spacing of 8 to 15" apart. You can thin to 8" apart and wait a couple weeks to see if you plants need more space.
Storage Req: Cool, Dry
Storage Temp: 60-70°F
Storage Length: 180-360 days
Seed Viability in Years: 2-3 years
Germination Percentage: 70%
The seeds are famous for their licorice flavor. Their leaves have a similar flavor. Great in baked good.
Seeds are often used in applesauce, breads, soups, and teas for their licorice-like flavor. Leaves can be used in salads.
Young leaves: raw or cooked. The leaves have a sweet aniseed flavor, they are very refreshing to chew and are also nice as a flavoring in salads, puddings, soups, stews etc. When adding to cooked dishes, only add the leaves for the last few minutes of the cooking or the flavor will be lost.
Seeds: The aromatic seed is eaten raw or used as a flavoring in raw or cooked foods such as soups, pies, bread and cakes. A distinctive sweet licorice flavor, its use improves the body's ability to digest food. The seed is harvested by cutting the whole plant when the seed is ripe. The plants are then kept in a warm, dry position for a week and then threshed to remove the seeds. Store the seeds in the dark in an airtight jar. An essential oil from the seed is used as a food flavoring in sweets (especially aniseed balls) ice cream, chewing gum, pickles etc. It is also often used to flavor alcoholic drinks such as pernod, ouzo and anisette. The leaves and the seeds can be brewed into a sweet licorice-like tea.
Deters pests from brassicas by camouflaging their odor. Brassicas plant family includes: Broccoli
Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard, and Turnips.
Improves the vigor of any plants growing near it. Used in ointments to protect against bug stings and bites.
Good to plant with coriander.
The Health Benefits of Anise Essential Oils
Since ancient times, anise has been in use as a spice and flavoring agent for food stuffs and beverages. It is also employed to flavor liquors. In India and certain other countries, anise is also used as a mouth freshener and digestive agent. The medicinal properties of this herb were known long ago in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The essential oil of anise is extracted by steam distillation of dried fruits of anise, or Pimpinella Anisum, as it is known in botanical terminology, which yields a thin and clear oil of which Anethol is the prime constituent, consisting of about 90 percent of it and is also responsible for its characteristic aroma. The other constituents are alpha pinene, anisaldehyde, beta pinene, camphene, linalool, cis & trans-anethol, safrol, and acetoanisol.
Anti-epileptic & Anti-hysteric: Since anise essential oil has a narcotic and sedative effect, it can calm down epileptic and hysteric attacks by slowing down circulation, respiration and nervous response, if administered in higher dosages. This is contrary to its stimulating and cordial properties, which are shown when administered in lower dosages. It is found effective in sedating nervous afflictions, hyper reactions and convulsions as well. This property has been known and utilized for a very long time. However, this property should be used with caution, as heavy dosages can have adverse effects, particularly in children.
Anti-rheumatic: This oil can give relief from rheumatic and arthritic pains by stimulating blood circulation, and by reducing the sensation of pain in the affected areas.
Antiseptic: This essential oil also has antiseptic properties and give wounds an effective protective layer against infections and sepsis. This aids in the faster healing of wounds.
Antispasmodic: Situations or ailments caused by spasms are cramps, coughs, aches, diarrhea, nervous afflictions and convulsions. Spasms are an excessive contraction of the respiratory tracts, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and internal organs that result in severe coughs, cramps, convulsions, obstructed blood circulations, aches in the stomach and chest and other symptoms. The essential oil of anise, being a relaxant and an anti-spasmodic by nature, relax these contractions and give relief from the ailments mentioned above.
Aperient: This oil has mild purgative properties, but is safe to use. Unlike other synthetic or harsh purgatives, it is not hard on the stomach and liver and does not leave you exhausted and fatigued. When taken in low dosages, it helps clear motions and cures constipation, resultant flatulence, and indigestion.
Carminative: Only those who are suffering from gas know what a relief it is to get rid of it. Gas is not funny at all. It is a very serious ailment and must be treated in a timely manner. It gives rise to indigestion, flatulence, acute chest pain, stomach aches, muscular cramps and pains, rheumatism in the long run, heaviness, hypertension and even problems like hair loss and reduction of eyesight, if it becomes chronic. Anise essential oil promotes the removal of gases and as a digestive, it does not let it form, as indigestion is the cause of excess gas.
Cordial: The warming effect of this oil on the respiratory and the circulatory systems makes it a cordial. This property helps counter colds, the deposition of phlegm, and problems like rheumatism and arthritis.
Decongestant: This oil of anise is very effective in clearing congestion in the lungs and the respiratory tracts for conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
Digestive: This property of anise and anise essential oil is very commonly used to promote digestion. It has been an old practice to chew Anise seeds, to serve desserts containing Anise, or to have a glass of warm water with few drops of anise essential oil in it to aid digestion, especially after a heavy meal or a feast.
Expectorant: This oil is really remarkable as an expectorant and this property earned it an impressive reputation. It loosens mucus or phlegm deposited in the lungs and respiratory tracts and gives relief from cough, heaviness in the chest, breathing troubles, asthma, bronchitis, congestion and other respiratory disorders. Due to the presence of this essential oil in the seeds, the seeds are used for smoking to loosen catarrh or phlegm.
Insecticide: The essential oil of anise is toxic to insects and smaller animals, therefore its smell keeps insects away. For this reason, this oil can be employed to drive away insects by using it in fumigants, vaporizers, and sprays.
Sedative: Due to its somewhat narcotic or numbing effects, it is used as a sedative for anxiety, nervous afflictions, depression, anger, and stress as well as for symptoms such as insomnia due to its tranquilizing and relaxing effects. This effect is particularly visible when it is used in higher dosages, since in very small doses, it acts as a stimulant. However, the utmost care should be taken while administering it in heavy doses, keeping in view its narcotic effects.
Stimulant: The stimulating property of anise essential oil can benefit us in the following ways. It can stimulate circulation and give relief from rheumatism and arthritis, stimulate secretion of enzymes and hormones, thus boosting the whole metabolism and finally, it can stimulate the nervous system and the brain to make us more active and alert.
Vermifuge: This is yet another aspect of its insecticidal property. It can kill worms found in the intestines. This property can be particularly beneficial for children, as they are most commonly afflicted with intestinal worms.
Other Benefits: It can be used to treat colic, flatulence, and pectoral affections.
A Few Words of Caution: In heavy doses, it has narcotic effects and slows down respiration and circulation. It is poisonous to certain small animals and birds and therefore children should not be given high doses. Furthermore, it may cause irritation to certain skin types. It is best to avoid it during pregnancy. It may also aggravate certain types of cancers caused due to its effect on the estrogen hormone.
Amaranth: Love Lies Bleeding (Heirloom) (Amaranthus caudatus)
Amaranth: Red Garnet (Heirloom) (Amaranthus tricolor)
Artichoke: Green Globe (Heirloom) (Cynara scolymus)
Beans: Kentucky Wonder Pole (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beans: Lazy Housewife Pole (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Bean: Royalty Purple Pod Green (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Beets: Detroit Dark Red (Heirloom) (Beta vulgaris)
Broccoli: Green Sprouting Calabrese (Organic) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli: Purple Sprouting (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli: Waltham 29 (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Brussels Sprout: Long Island Improved (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera)
Cabbage: Early Jersey Wakefield (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Cabbage: Late Flat Dutch (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Cabbage: Red Acre (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Cabbage is considered one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, since historians trace it back to 4,000 BC in China. The Romans also cultivated it and praised it for its healing qualities; philosophers Pythagoras and Cato both made the lowly cabbage the subject of a book. Jacques Cartier brought the first cabbage to America in 1536. Cabbages were quite popular in colonial America, being pickled and preserved in every possible way to provide food for the winter.
Cabbage, Chinese: Pak Choi (Heirloom) (Brassica rapa var. chinensis)
Carrots: Chantenay Red Cored (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Cosmic Purple (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Danvers (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Rainbow Blend (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Scarlet Nantes (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Carrots: Tendersweet (Heirloom) (Daucus carota)
Cauliflower: Snowball Y Improved (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis)
Collards: Vates (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)
Corn: Country Gentleman-Open Pollinated (Heirloom) (Zea mays)
Corn: Golden Bantam-Open Pollinated (Heirloom) (Zea mays)
Corn, Popcorn: Shaman's Blue (Hybrid) Open Pollinated (Zea mays)
Blue corn originated in the Andes Mountains of Peru, where the native peoples usually ground it into flour for cooking. Indians of Mexico and the southwestern United States also widely used this corn, since its dryness made it an excellent flour corn and gave it good resistance to disease. This exciting blue popcorn receives high marks for both visual and taste appeal. The unique blue/purple kernel pops into mounds of snow white popcorn that will satisfy any popcorn lover with its slightly sweet flavor.
Cucumber: Marketmore 76' (Heirloom) (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber: Mexican Sour Gherkin (Heirloom) (Melothria scabra)
Cucumber: National Pickling (Heirloom) (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber: Straight Eight (Heirloom) (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber: Sumter (Heirloom) (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumber: Wisconsin SMR 58 (Heirloom) (Cucumis sativus)
Eggplant: Black Beauty (Heirloom) (Solanum melongena var. esculentum)
Eggplant: Long Purple (Heirloom) (Solanum melongena)
This Italian heirloom eggplant, Long Purple, produces dark purple cucumber-shaped fruit with firm, mild flesh. Good yields, especially in northern climates! Plants will typically produce 4 or more 8-10" fruits with harvest beginning in 70 to 80 days. Average water needs. Some parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
Gourd: Luffa (Heirloom) (Luffa cylindrica)
Kale: Lacinato (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea)
Kale: Ornamental Mix (Hybrid) (Brassica oleracea)
Ornamental Kale provides amazing color from early fall well into winter with frilly green outer leaves and pink, white or purple centers. As the rest of the flowers in the garden are dying down, Ornamental Kale is just getting started!
Kale: Red Russian (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea)
Kohlrabi: Purple Vienna (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes)
Leeks: Giant Musselburg (Heirloom) (Allium porrum)
Lettuce: Bibb (Heirloom)
Lettuce: Freckles Romaine (Heirloom)
Lettuce: Oakleaf (Heirloom)
Lettuce: Red Romaine (Heirloom)
Melon: Cantaloupe, Hale's Best Jumbo (Cucumis melo)
Melon, Cantaloupe: Hearts of Gold (Heirloom) (Cucumis melo)
Melon, Cantaloupe: Honey Dew Green Flesh (Heirloom) (Cucumis melo var. inodorus)
Melon, Cantaloupe: Honey Rock (Heirloom) (Cucumis melo)
Melon, Watermelon: Black Diamond (Heirloom) (Citrullus lanatus)
Melon, Watermelon: Crimson Sweet (Citrullus lanatus)
Melon, Watermelon: Moon and Stars (Heirloom) (Citrullus lanatus)
Melon, Watermelon: Sugar Baby (Heirloom) (Citrullus lanatus)
Mustard: Red Giant (Heirloom) (Brassica juncea)
Mustard greens originated near the Himalayan region of northern India, where they have been growing for thousands of years. Chinese, Japanese, and African cuisine also make use of this peppery vegetable. Though not particularly well known in most parts of the United States, mustard greens are a traditional part of culture in the southern region.
Mustard: Tendergreen (Heirloom) (Brassica rapa var. perviridis)
Okra: Clemson Spineless (Heirloom) (Abelmoschus esculentus)
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