Since the Victorian era, Anise has infused summer drinks with a hint of Licorice. Any extra was tied together into a tussie-mussie bouquet; Anise was prized for its lacy fronds. A fine foliage plant in the garden, an aromatic essential in the kitchen, Anise is also a magnet for bees and butterflies. Sow seeds direct in the garden and keep a succession growing all summer long.
Anise dates back to ancient Egypt, but it wasn't until the 14th century that it was introduced in the U.S. and England. Instantly popular and deemed very valuable thanks to its many culinary and medicinal uses, it was actually once accepted as a form of payment for taxes. How unfortunate that it's no longer considered legal currency, because it's super easy to grow! Most liken anise's powerful scent and flavor to that of black licorice, which has made it a common flavoring for teas and liqueurs as well as cough drops. Its wispy white flowers and lovely green foliage can be used in salads or as garnishes, or it can be ground up for use in a variety of recipes, including cookies, breads, and other baked favorites. Low maintenance and beautiful when flowering, anise likes to be planted where it will bask in lots of sun and will do equally well in gardens, raised beds, and containers.