The Anise, 'Pimpinella anisum', was so enjoyed by the Romans, they could pay taxes with anise. The seeds and leaves are tasty and they are also useful for medicinal purposes. Anise seed has a sweet, licorice flavor and is used to intensify sweetness in cakes, pastries, and cookies. Also, either alone or combined with cinnamon or bay, compliments duck, pork, or fish. The leaves are also added to salads, soups, and vegetables. Tea or ground seeds are said to aid in digestion. Chewed, anise removes bad odors from the mouth.
Anise is a tall plant with rounded leaves at the base and narrow leaves further up the upright stem. The yellowish-white flowers occur in umbels during the summer. Plant after the last spring frost when soil temperatures are warm. Anise prefers a protected spot because it grows spindly and is easily damaged by wind. The soil should be fairly rich and well drained.