Thursday, May 21, 2009


ANISE (Aniseed) (Pimpinella anisum)

One of the most ancient herbs, indigenous to Egypt, the Levant and eastern parts of the Mediterranean. It was first cultivated by the Egyptians and then by the Greeks and Arabs. It is an annual (height 45cm,  spread 30cm) which looks rather like celery with  deeply cut leaves and numerous small white flowers borne in compound umbels and these are followed by brownish, aromatic ribbed fruits. As they do not transplant easily, sow the seed in situ in spring and thin them out to stand 30cm apart.  The soil should be light, porous, alkaline and not too rich.  Gather the seeds in late summer when ripe.  The seeds can be sprinkled over cakes, pancakes, young carrots and parsnips, or used in salads and stews. 

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