Pimpinella anisum L.

First published in Sp. Pl.: 264 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is SE. Türkiye to Central Israel, Cyprus. It is an annual and grows primarily in the temperate biome. It is used as animal food and a medicine and for food.


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 1900 - 3000 m.; Andes.
Morphology General Habit

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

anís, anís común, anís verde

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.19592

Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident

Ghazanfar, S. A. & Edmondson, J. R (Eds). (2014) Flora of Iraq, Volume 5 Part 2: Lythraceae to Campanulaceae.

Morphology General Habit
Robust annual, 18–75 cm, considerably branched above and with a few branches nearer the base
Morphology Stem
Stem and branches terete, striate or sulcate, minutely downy
Morphology Leaves
Extreme basal leaves undivided or shortly trilobed, ovate-rotund to cuneate-obovate in outline, coarsely and irregularly toothed, cuneate at base; other basal leaves ternate with similar broad, deeply toothed and cuneate-based segments; all long-petiolate Lower stem leaves pinnate with 1 or 2 pairs of incised, cuneate-obovate leaflets; upper stem leaves sessile, pinnate or bipinnate, with narrow ultimate segments, sheathing, with a ± well-developed membranous web between the sheath and the lowest pair of pinnae All leaves green, subglabrous or sparsely and minutely puberulent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Peduncles
Peduncles 2–8 cm, with 10–20 finally ± incurved, subequal, minutely downy 1−3.5 cm rays
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Partial umbels 10–20-flowered, flowers ± 1.5 mm in diameter, petals glabrous, not radiate, pedicels 1.5−4 mm, downy but glabrescent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts Involucre
Involucre and involucel usually absent, but 1 subulate bract or bracteole usually to be found on a few inflorescences
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit flask-shaped, broadest below the middle and attenuate above, expanding again slightly at the tip, 3–4 mm long and brownish when ripe, covered with short, appressed grey pubescence; ribs pale and rather conspicuous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Vittae
Vittae 4–8 in the valleculae, almost forming an annulus
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stylopodium
Stylopodia shortly conical, the margins rugose below; styles slender, about half as long as fruit or more, flexuose-divergent or reflexed.
Apparently very rare in Iraq, the only record of its ever having been found presumably growing spontaneously in our territory being almost 90 years ago (fki/fni: Jabal Hamrin, Anthony, l.c.). The specimen has not been located and all records based on Anthony’s list alone are doubtful. There is however evidence that the species has been cultivated in comparatively recent years on the Agricultural Experimental Station nr Baghdad (lca: Abu Ghraib (cult.), Janan, Sahira & Omar C.188!).  This species is widespread in Europe, the Mediterranean region, western Asia and China (Xinjiang), but at least for the most part as an escape – though it is believed to be of Asiatic origin; it also occurs as an adventive in many other parts of the world. Shishkin (1950) reported that this species was widely cultivated in C Asia, as well as in W & SW Russia and Caucasus, adding that it is known only in cultivation there. So far as our own territory is concerned Guest (1933) stated that it was “said to be cultivated sometimes in the north, at Mosul and elsewhere” while Hussain and Kasim (1975) were perhaps nearer the mark in noting that there is “no definite report for the region of its cultivation” in Iraq. It is significant that in spite of the many botanists who have collected specimens all over our territory during the past fifty years or more this species has not been found, whether in cultivation or adventive. Thus, until and unless specimens are collected in different parts of the country, we doubt whether the plant occurs in Iraq at all.
Anise, ĀNISŪN (Ar., Pers. – sometimes also known as ĀNISŪN or YĀNISŪN), RAZYANA (Kurd., Wahby & Edmonds).

Biogeografic region: Andean. Elevation range: 1900–3000 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Nariño.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: artificial - terrestrial.


The fruits of the plant, Aniseed, are used in flavouring, particularly to flavour the local alcoholic grape-spirit in the N; this is known as ZAHLĀWI (after the Lebanese town of Zahle, a famous centre for the production of this type of ‘araq’) in distinction with the date-spirit of southern Iraq called MUSTAKIA which is flavoured with mastic, obtained from Pistacia lentiscus (see Fl. Iraq, vol. 4). Guest (1933) mentioned that, apart from any anise which may be grown locally, aniseed was imported into Iraq and on sale in the local markets. There was however some confusion between aniseed and the seed of the dill (Anisum graveolens q.v.), a plant of similar smell and appearance, also used as a condiment, as a vegetable and, medicinally; though the two plants can readily be distinguished by the layman by the white flowers of anise and the yellow flowers of dill. According to Wren (1956) aniseed was known to the ancients in many parts of the world and valued as a carminative. It is also used in cough medicines and lozenges as a pectoral and the powdered seeds are employed in conditioning condiments for horses. Rawi & Chakravarty (1964) add that it also possesses diuretic and diaphoretic properties and is used as a flavourant in some bakery products. Campbell Thompson (1949) considers that the name SAMRĀNU in the ancient Assyrian Medical Texts probably refers to anise.

Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.

Common Names



  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    • ColPlantA 2021. Published on the Internet at http://colplanta.org
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
  • Flora of Iraq

    • Ghazanfar, S. A., Edmondson, J. R. (Eds). (2013-2019). Flora of Iraq, Volumes 5.1, 5.2 and 6.0. Kew Publishing
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • 'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Living Collection Database

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0