Aniseed

Aniseed, also known as Anise, is an annual grown for its licorice flavoured seeds. They can be used whole or ground, by themselves or in combination with other herbs, as a flavouring for teas, seasonings and baked goods. Leaves also edible, add raw to salads or in cooked dishes at the last minute. 17-18 weeks to harvest. 250 seeds per packet.
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Price Per Item: $ 2.50
Description

Scientific Name: Pimpinella anisum

Common Names: Aniseed, Anise

Family: Apiaceae

Origin

Aniseed is an annual herb that can grow up to a metre tall in ideal conditions.  Aniseed is native to the Eastern Mediterranean as well as Southwest Asia.  Aniseed plants were first cultivated in parts of the Middle East and Egypt, where it was used both as a culinary and embalming spice.

Culinary Uses

Anise seeds have a strong, medicinal flavour.  The compounds responsible for this flavour is found in many other plant species including licorice root and fennel and anise seeds have a similar flavour to these.  Anise seeds can be used whole or ground to make a licorice flavoured tea, or used ground to flavour cakes, biscuits and sweets.  The young leaves of Aniseed plants are edible raw or cooked and have a refreshing sweet licorice flavour.  If cooking with Aniseed leaves add them only at the last minute or their flavour will be lost.

Medicinal Use

Anise seeds are used in traditional herbal medicine to reduce flatulence and calm diarrhea.

Growing Tips

Aniseed will grow best in a location that receives plenty of sunlight, but it will tolerate light shade for part of the day.  Requires a free draining soil, grow Aniseed in raised beds if your soil is too compacted or heavy with clay.  Aniseed grows well in a rich sandy loam soil, dig lots of organic matter including well-rotted manures, compost or worm castings through your garden beds to help improve your soil structure, encourage worms and beneficial soil microorganisms, and provide nutrients for your plants.  Fertilise Aniseed plants every few weeks with a complete organic liquid fertiliser, worm juice or compost tea for best growth.  Mulch around your Aniseed plants with sugar cane mulch to suppress weeds, retain moisture and keep their root systems cool.  Aniseed grows best in soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.2 and 7.3.

Companion Planting

Aniseed grows particularly well around Coriander plants, and Coriander plants also seem to grow better when planted near Aniseed.  Aniseed grown near basil is said to increase the essential oil content of the leaves resulting in a more flavoursome basil.  The scent of Aniseed is also thought to repel aphids, planting it near susceptible plants may be of benefit.  Aniseed flowers attract and provide a nectar source for the adult stage of various caterpillar-parasitic wasps. 

When To Sow

In cold and mountainous regions of Australia sow Aniseed from October to December.  In temperate regions of Australia sow Aniseed from September to January.  In subtropical regions of Australia sow Aniseed from September to February.  In tropical regions of Australia plant Aniseed during the early dry season from March to May.

How To Sow

Sow Anise seeds 6mm deep spacing plantings about 25cm apart.  Anise seedlings won't grow well if their long tap root is damaged during transplanting, because of this it's best to sow Anise seeds directly where they are to grow.

Time To Germination

Aniseed can be slow to germinate, however most seedlings will emerge within 10 to 21 days after sowing the seeds.

Time To Harvest

Aniseed requires a long growing season to produce seeds ready for harvest, 17 to 18 weeks on average.