The real name of the plant is actually Pimpinella Anisum but we all know it as Anise or, at most, Green Anise.
Belonging to the Apiaceae or Ombelliferae family and originating in the Mediterranean, it has been successfully cultivated since ancient times, both in gardens and in vegetable gardens.
The italian name “Pimpinella”, sounds like a nursery rhyme for children. It is not, but children like it very much and I bet that few know why. I will reveal it immediately, this plant, which is later known as Anica, in a green version is the basis of the beloved taste of blue-colored ice cream: the Smurf!
It is an annual herbaceous plant. It is characterized by a herbaceous stem, hollow and rounded, by various leaves depending on the position they occupy, toothed lobed, long petiole and larger at the base while small, incised, feathery and with the shorter petiole the upper ones.
The flowers are small whitish and arranged in an umbrella like the other umbelliferae.
The fruits are small and streaked diachenes.
Asanol, the active ingredient present in the anise plant, is used to produce liqueurs, medicines and flavors generally used in pharmacies and patisseries. The liqueurs include anisette, Greek ouzo, Turkish rakı or the more common sambuca and Varnelli.