Those of us growing Anise do so for the fresh and popular flavor of licorice. Anise is native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, where is grown as a cash crop. You can also find Anise growing wild in fields. It is related to caraway and dill.
The Anise plant has lacy leaves, and heads of white flowers that give way to seeds containing tasty oils. When in bloom, Anise provides a profusion of flowers. And that's good, because the flowers produce the seeds that produce the oils that tastes so good! It grows 18-24".
Anise are grown from seed. Directly sow seeds into your garden. Sow seeds early in the season, and cover lightly with soil. Space seedlings, or thin plants to 18" apart in rows 12 inches apart.
How to Grow Anise:
Anise is easy to grow. They prefer full sun and a well drained soil. They will do well in average soils, and tolerate dry soil conditions. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Add a general purpose fertilizer once or twice a season.
Harvest flower heads after seeds have formed, and the flower head has died. Extract seeds and dry them in a cool, dry location.
Externally, Anise tea can be wrapped in a warm cloth and used as a compress for eye pain.
Try dropping a few seeds in a glass of warm milk before bed to prevent insomnia.
Lastly, Anise seeds can be chewed in the morning for an all-day mouth freshener.