Other features: the leaves provide sweetness when cooked with fruit
Hardiness: fully hardy
Native to the north of England, the bright green lacy foliage of this herb has a rich aniseed flavour that is used both to sweeten fruit dishes, as well as add interest to savoury recipes. A pretty plant for the kitchen garden or wild border, the clusters of white flowers, which appear in early summer, are attractive to bees and other beneficial pollinators. The thick tap root can also be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable.
Garden care:Sow directly into a well-prepared seedbed in autumn, watering freely and thinning the plants to 25cm intervals as they grow and if necessary transplant in the spring. Alternatively keep the seed for 4 weeks in the fridge and then sow it into pots in spring, allowing just one seed per pot. When large enough to handle, plant them outside after all risk of frost has passed. It self-seeds freely so dead-head regularly if you do not want more to come.