Now Sowing: Anise (March–May)

Common Name: Anise

Scientific Name: Pimpinella anisum

Seed Saving Level: Beginner


March 15th – May 15th

Sow Anise, an annual, outdoors after the last frost in late winter/early spring as it does not transplant well. It grows best in well-draining loam soil in full sun. Sow seeds ¼” deep and 3-4” apart. Seeds will germinate in 10-28 days. Keep the soil moist while the seeds germinate. In autumn, thin seedlings so plants are 6-8” apart.


It takes 100-130 days for the plant to mature. Harvest the Anise when the plants are large enough and are producing green leaves, or about a month after flowers bloom. Harvesting of the seeds can take place whether the seeds are green or brown, depending on preference. The seeds can be used for flavoring cakes, cookies, and other goods. The leaves and seeds have a warm, sweet taste that suggests licorice.

Seed Saving:

Cut the stem below the head of the flower. If the seeds are green, tie the flowers together and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place. Place a container underneath to catch the seeds.

If saving when the seeds are dry and brown on the plant, shake the flower upside down over a container. The seeds should easily fall off.


Make sure the seeds are dry. Preserve in an airtight jar or container in a cool, dark place. Do not put anything like cloth or paper in the jar, as it will hold in moisture.


Recipe: Fried Bananas


  • 2 bananas
  • water
  • 25 grams of sugar
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. anise
  • 35 grams flour
  • 1 egg
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • honey


  1. Peel and chop bananas.
  2. Put bananas in a bowl of boiling water and let it stand for five minutes.
  3. Drain bananas.
  4. Mash bananas with sugar, cinnamon, anise, flour, and well-beaten egg.
  5. Mix well until mixture is smooth.
  6. In a pan, heat plenty of olive oil.
  7. Drop tablespoons of batter into hot oil and fry until golden.
  8. Drain cooked fritters on paper towels.
  9. If desired, serve with cold honey.