Heirloom Anise- Annual
(Tip: Use a paper or plastic bag and rubber band over drying blooms to catch seeds)
Plant anise herb seeds in a nice sunny spot in soil that has adequate drainage. Anise seeds produce a pungent flavored herb that resembles fennel and licorice, and it is used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In antiquity, anise was used to treat insomnia and lung conditions. Today, this sweet-smelling herb is commonly found in Indian, and other Asian, cuisine. The herb is also frequently used to flavor liqueurs such as arak, aguardiente, ouzo, and sambuca. It also has uses in the garden, it is said to be a good companion plant to cabbage, partly because it will lure away the Cabbage White butterfly. Anise is said to be antagonistic to radishes, and they should not be grown nearby. Hyssop also attracts bees, hoverflies and butterflies, thus has a place in the wild garden as well as being useful in controlling pests and encouraging pollination without the use of unnatural methods. Anise leaves can be preserved by drying. They should be harvested on a dry day at the peak of their maturity and the concentration of active ingredients is highest. They should be dried quickly, away from bright sunlight in order to preserve their aromatic ingredients and prevent oxidation of other chemicals. Good air circulation is required. Hyssop leaves should dry out in about six days, any longer and they will begin to discolor and lose their flavor. The dried leaves are stored in clean, dry, labeled airtight containers, and will keep for 12-18 months. Planting: Seeds, cuttings or division in spring or fall. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep in rows about 1 foot apart.
Harvesting Anise Seeds
Remove old flower heads –plant will need replacing every 4-5 years.