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(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
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Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
House Leek (crassulaceoe)
Anemone (wood)



Anise








(Pimpinella Anisum, Linn.), an annual herb of the natural order
Umbelliferae. It is a native of southwestern Asia, northern Africa and
south-eastern Europe, whence it has been introduced by man throughout
the Mediterranean region, into Germany, and to some extent into other
temperate regions of both hemispheres, but seems not to be known
anywhere in the wild state or as an escape from gardens. To judge from
its mention in the Scriptures (Matthew xxiii, 23), it was highly
valued as a cultivated crop prior to our era, not only in Palestine,
but elsewhere in the East. Many Greek and Roman authors, especially
Dioscorides, Theophrastus, Pliny and Paladius, wrote more or less fully
of its cultivation and uses.

From their days to the present it seems to have enjoyed general
popularity. In the ninth century, Charlemagne commanded that it be grown
upon the imperial farms; in the thirteenth, Albertus Magnus speaks
highly of it; and since then many agricultural writers have devoted
attention to it. But though it has been cultivated for at least two
thousand years and is now extensively grown in Malta, Spain, southern
France, Russia, Germany and India, which mainly supply the market, it
seems not to have developed any improved varieties.

Description.--Its roots are white, spindle-shaped and rather fibrous;
its stems about 18 inches tall, branchy, erect, slender, cylindrical;
its root leaves lobed somewhat like those of celery; its stem leaves
more and more finely cut toward the upper part of the stem, near the top
of which they resemble fennel leaves in their finely divided segments;
its flowers yellowish white, small, rather large, in loose umbels
consisting of many umbellets; its fruits ("seeds") greenish-gray, small,
ovoid or oblong in outline, longitudinally furrowed and ridged on the
convex side, very aromatic, sweetish and pleasantly piquant.

Cultivation.--The seeds, which should be as fresh as possible, never
more than two years old, should be sown in permanent quarters as soon as
the weather becomes settled in early spring. They should be planted 1/2
inch deep, about 1/2 inch asunder, in drills 15 or 18 inches apart, and
the plants thinned when about 2 inches tall to stand 6 inches asunder.
An ounce of seed should plant about 150 feet of drill. The plants, which
do not transplant readily, thrive best in well-drained, light, rich,
rather dry, loamy soils well exposed to the sun. A light application of
well-rotted manure, careful preparation of the ground, clean and
frequent cultivation, are the only requisites in the management of this
crop.

In about four months from the sowing of the seed, and in about one month
from the appearance of the flowers, the plants may be pulled, or
preferably cut, for drying. (See page 25.) The climate and the soils in
the warmer parts of the northern states appear to be favorable to the
commercial cultivation of anise, which it seems should prove a
profitable crop under proper management.

Uses.--The leaves are frequently employed as a garnish, for flavoring
salads, and to a small extent as potherbs. Far more general, however, is
the use of the seeds, which enter as a flavoring into various
condiments, especially curry powders, many kinds of cake, pastry, and
confectionery and into some kinds of cheese and bread. Anise oil is
extensively employed for flavoring many beverages both alcoholic and
non-spirituous and for disguising the unpleasant flavors of various
drugs. The seeds are also ground and compounded with other fragrant
materials for making sachet powders, and the oil mixed with other fluids
for liquid perfumes. Various similar anise combinations are largely used
in perfuming soaps, pomatums and other toilet articles. The very
volatile, nearly colorless oil is usually obtained by distillation with
water, about 50 pounds of seed being required to produce one pound of
oil. At Erfurt, Germany, where much of the commercial oil is made, the
"hay" and the seeds are both used for distilling.





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Previous: Angelica



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