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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

Aniseed, sweet cumin, sweet Alice, heal-bite

Latin Name: Pimpinella anisum

Plant Family: Apiaceae

Close Relatives: Cilantro/Coriander, Carrots, Celery, Dill and Parsley

Uses and Markets: Culinary (e.g. fresh herb, spice; adds a liquorice flavour), Medicinal (e.g. treatment of respiratory disorders)

Anise – fresh herb.
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Research from Saskatchewan shows that anise germination is improved by priming in aerated water at room temperature for 24 to 36 hours, and then drying in ambient air before seeding.

Propagation method


Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Beginning in late April to mid-May.

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

10-20 cm (fresh herb); 15-25 cm (spice).

Between row spacing

20-60 cm (wider spacing between rows of fresh anise).

Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Research from India and Iran has shown an optimal nitrogen rate of 80-100 kg/ha for both leaf and seed yield. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well drained sand to loam soils.

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity


Irrigation requirements

Irrigation required under normal Ontario conditions (fresh herb).

Days to harvest

50-70 days (fresh herb); 100-120 days (seed spice).

Specialized equipment


Harvest Scheduling

Successive Plantings, Multi-cropping possible (fresh herb). Single Harvest (Seed spice).

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Hand harvest (fresh herb); machine harvest (combine) for seed spice.

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest (fresh herb).  For seed harvest, plants are usually cut or pulled out of the ground when seed pods are nearly mature but still green to allow pods to fully mature and dry down. They are then harvested with a combine.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Anise spice should be stored in a dark, cool and dry place until sale.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 95-100% (fresh herb)

Temperature: 0°C (fresh herb)

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: 10-14 days (fresh herb)

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Leafhoppers

Diseases: Root and crown rot

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Caterpillars, aphids, grasshoppers

Diseases: Rust, leaf blight (e.g. Passalora, Cercospora), downy mildew

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: none. This crop is in Crop Group 19: Herbs and Spices Group, when it is grown for its seed. This crop group is being revised and may change in the near future. For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Westerveld, S., Elford, E., Filotas, M. and J. Todd. 2010-present. OMAFRA herb demonstration garden. OMAFRA Simcoe Resource Centre, unpublished.
  1. Azizi, S. 2000. Effect of N-fertilizer and sowing date on the growth, seed yield and essential oil of anise. Journal of Agricultural Sciences - Islamic Azad University 6: 79-88.
  2. Bhuvaneshwari, A.A. Farooqi,  B.S. Sreeramu and K.N. Srinivasappa. 2003. Influence of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels on growth, seed yield and essential oil content in anise (Pimpinella anisum L.). Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops 11:112-117.
  3. Holm, F.A. and A.E. Slinkard. 2002. Spice breeding and agronomic research. Crop Development Centre, University of Saskatchewan.
  4. Ryakhovsky, N. 1931. Key to the fungal diseases of anise and coriander. Plant Protection 8: 185-186.
  5. Small, E. 2006. Culinary herbs, 2nd Edition. NRC Research Press, Ottawa.