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pimpinella anisum L.
The spice got its name by confusion with dill (Greek áneeson or áneeton). Sanskrit shatpushpa literally means "a hundred flowers" and probably refers to the flower cluster (umbel).
The Hindi name saunf properly denotes fennel, which anis is thought to be a foreign variety of and which is often used interchangeably with anis. To distinguish anis clearly from fennel, the adjectives patli "thin" or vilyati "foreign" may be used.
The Portuguese name erva doce "sweet herb" is used for both the fresh herb and the dried seeds.
Anise, Anason, Anis, Anasur, Anisu
pharm Fructus Anisi
Chinese Yan kok, Pa chio, Huei hsiang
Danish (Grøn) anis
Dutch Anijs, Wilde pimpernel, Nieszaad, Groene anijs
English Sweet cumin, Aniseed
Esperanto Anizo, Anizujo
Estonian Harilik aniis
French Anis vert, Boucage
Hindi Saunf, Patli saunf, Vilayati saunf
Indonesian Jinten manis
Italian Anice, Anice verde
Marathi Shauf, Badishep
Polish Biedrzeniec anyz
Portuguese Anis, Anis verde
Portuguese Erva doce
Spanish Anís, Matalahuga
Vietnamese Cay vi
The fruit, or so-called seeds.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Apiales; Umbelliferae / Apiaceae - Carrot / Celery Family;genus;Pimpinella;species;anisum
Description of the substance
Anise is a dainty, white-flowered urnbelliferous annual, about 18 inches high, with secondary feather-like leaflets of bright green, hence its name (of mediaeval origin), Pimpinella, from dipinella, or twicepinnate, in allusion to the form of the leaves.
It is a native of Egypt, Greece, Crete and Asia Minor and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians. It was well known to the Greeks, being mentioned by Dioscorides and Pliny and was cultivated in Tuscany in Roman times. In the Middle Ages its cultivation spread to Central Europe.
In this country Anise has been in use since the fourteenth century, and has been cultivated in English gardens from the middle of the sixteenth century, but it ripens its seeds here only in very warm summers, and it is chiefly in warmer districts that it is grown on a commercial scale, Southern Russia, Bulgaria, Germany, Malta, Spain, Italy, North Africa and Greece producing large quantities. It has also been introduced into India and South America. The cultivated plant attains a considerably larger size than the wild one.
In the East Anise was formerly used with other spices in part payment of taxes. 'Ye pay tithe of Mint, Anise and Cummin,' we read in the 23rd chapter of St. Matthew, but some authorities state that Anise is an incorrect rendering and should have been translated 'Dill.'
In Virgil's time, Anise was used as a spice. Mustacae, a spiced cake of the Romans introduced at the end of a rich meal, to prevent indigestion, consisted of meal, with Anise, Cummin and other aromatics. Such a cake was sometimes brought in at the end of a marriage feast, and is, perhaps, the origin of our spiced wedding cake.
On the Continent, especially in Germany, many cakes have an aniseed flavouring, and Anise is also used as a flavouring for soups.
It is largely employed in France, Spain Italy and South America in the preparation of cordial liqueurs. The liqueur Anisette added to cold water on a hot summer's day, makes a most refreshing drink.
Anise is one of the herbs that was supposed to avert the Evil Eye.
Sow the seed in dry, light soil, on a warm, sunny border, early in April, where the plants are to remain. When they come up, thin them and keep them clean from weeds. Allow about a foot each way. The seeds may also be sown in pots in heat and removed to a warm site in May.
The seeds will ripen in England in good seasons if planted in a warm and favourable situation, though they are not successful everywhere, and can hardly be looked upon as a remunerative crop. The plant flowers in July, and if the season prove warm, will ripen in autumn, when the plants are cut down and the seeds threshed out.
The fruit, or so-called seeds. When threshed out, the seeds may be easily dried in trays, in a current of air in half-shade, out-of-doors, or by moderate heat. When dry, they are greyish brown, ovate, hairy, about one-fifth of an inch long, with ten crenate ribs and often have the stalk attached. They should be free from earthy matter. The taste is sweet and spicy, and the odour aromatic and agreeable.