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The importance of knowing facts about wild anise
Published By deepa on 2011-09-21 3778 Views

Identifying the wild anise when camping out is essential because of many reasons. The seeds can be collected for further use. Poisonous plants similar to it should not be handled. Learning the facts and the properties of the plant will help identify it easily.

It is essential to know the properties of wild anise to differentiate it from other plants like poison hemlock and water hemlock which can cause death. The easiest way is to crush the leaves with gloves or covered hand to identify the smell. A musty or mousy smell indicates poison hemlock. The poison varieties have white flowers. The yellow flowers of the wild anise are easy to identify but it flowers only between May and September.

Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare
Genus: Foeniculum
Family: Apiaceae
Order: Apiales
Kingdom: Plantae

The wild anise plant originally belongs to the Mediterranean area. Migration has led to widespread growth in other parts of the world. The uses of this plant have made it a favorite. Though the product is easily available, growing it is easy and economical. The wild anise grows in the areas of Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Mountains.

The plant has beautiful yellow flowers and feather like leaves. Wild anise is a tall plant {2.5m}. It is erect with branches. The leaves are long, have hair like segments and spread out which gives it a feather like look. The flowers stand above the leaves and a beautiful sight. There are five petals. The flowers are connected to the main stem.

The fruits of the plant are usually treated as seeds. The fruits have a strong aroma and used as a spice.

The taste is akin to that of star anise. The fruits are about 4.5mm long with cylindrical shape.

The shoots of the plant can be eaten in both raw and cooked form which is helpful when camping out. The leaves can be used as sandwich filling. The flavor helps to avoid other fillings and is helpful when food stocks diminish. The bulbs can be cooked or eaten raw. It is healthy and good for digestion. Wild anise has many medicinal and culinary uses. Wild anise seeds are used as a spice. The seeds are placed along with restaurant {medium} bills all over India for free. It is considered good for reducing gas problems and help digestion. India is the main producer of this plant.

The plant was originally brought to America for controlled cultivation. The widespread growth at present is due to the pollination by wind. The plant is often considered as a weed because it envelops space and chokes out other plants. The term wild has originated from this property. The plant if left unchecked will grow wild. The conditions which are favorable for its growth are fertile soil which is well drained and a warm atmosphere.

Wild anise is different from anise the botanical name of which is Pimpinella. The similarity is in the aromatic compound anethole. The flavor of wild anise is mild compared to anise [white flowers] and star anise.

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