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Drawing of Pimpinella anisum flowers and leaves


The pungent seed from the anise plant, Pimpinella anisum, native to the Mediterranean countries and India. Aniseeds have a licorice-like flavor and are used as an ingredient in pastries, meat, and vegetables. The tiny seeds contain about 2.5 percent oil of which the principal component is anethole. The essential oil was once used as a preservative in pastes and glues and as an enamel medium. It is now used as a licorice flavoring in absinthe, anisette, and Pernod liqueurs.

Drawing of Pimpinella saxifraga

Synonyms and Related Terms

anise seed; anise oil; anise camphor; aniseed oil; Pimpinella anisum (anise burnet saxifrage); Aniseed Turpens [Potclays]

Resources and Citations

  • Thomas Gregory, The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Reinhold Publishing, New York, 3rd ed., 1942
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 751
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997