Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Sweet Cicely
Give a thumbs up Aniseroot
Give a thumbs up Wild Anise
Give a thumbs up Anise Root
Give a thumbs up Anise
Give a thumbs up Wild Licorice
Give a thumbs up Sweet Jarvil
Give a thumbs up Longstyle Sweetroot
Give a thumbs up Sweet-Cicely
Give a thumbs up Sweet Anise

Botanical names:
Osmorhiza longistylis Accepted
Osmorhiza aristata var. longistylis Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Plant Height: 2-3 feet
Plant Spread: 2 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Other: Long bristly seeds (schizocarps) that can stick to hair, clothing, or fur
Fruiting Time: Summer
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Stem
Seeds or Nuts
Eating Methods: Tea
Culinary Herb/Spice
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 2 months cold moist treatment
Suitable for wintersowing
Sow in situ
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies


Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 10, 2015 6:15 PM

"How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs. William Starr Dana refers to this plant by the common name Sweet Cicely. The author notes that it is one the earliest flowering of the white parsleys. Its roots are prized by country children for their flavor. However, she warns the reader not to confuse this plant with the very poisonous Water-Hemlock which it greatly resembles. According to her, Sweet Cicely blooms earlier in the year than the poisonous Water-Hemlock.

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Posted by Cyclaminist (Minneapolis, Minnesota - Zone 5a) on Apr 29, 2016 6:43 PM

I bought seeds this year, since I'm eager to grow a native shade plant that's edible. It's also mentioned, along with sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii), in Heather Holm's Pollinators on Native Plants as a good plant for feeding bees, flies, and moths. The seeds are long and have spines that attach to fur or clothes, allowing them to be spread by animals or people.

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