Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sweet Cicely

Sweet Cicely (Myrris odorata) is a traditional hardy cottage garden perennial. It grows wild in the North of England. It is related to anise, fennel and caraway and has a similar flavour to anise. It thrives on well drained soil and tolerates partial shade. I have it growing under a fig tree.
It produces umbels of frothy white flowers in late spring providing an early nectar source for insects.. The flowers develop into long slender seed pods as shown in the photo above.

The leaves can stewed with tart fruit like gooseberries or rhubarb to reduce acidity. It can be used to flavour fish. in some countires it is used to flavour Schnapps.
The seeds can be dried and used as a spice or left on the plant to self seed.

Have you used this in cooking and if so what did you use it with?