The Myrrhis genus has only one member - Myrrhis odorata, but goes under many common names; it is a hardy perennial and grows from between 90 cm and 1.5 m in heights.
Its seeds are used in culinary use. The common names are Cicely and Sweet Cicely. It is closely related toMyrrhis include Chervil and Anise.
Chervil comes into bloom in the summer and carries small white flowers; the foliage of the plant is fern like.
Myrrhis odorata (Sweet cecily) photograph by amandabhslater.
Sweet Cicely plants picture by wallygrom.
Common Names: Cicely, Sweet Cicely.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 36 to 78 inches (90 to 200 cm).
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.
Flower Details: White. Tiny. Umbels.
Foliage: Aromatic. Fern-like. Large (up to 20 inches (50 cm).
Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3 mm).Three months before the last frost. Spacing 24 inches (60 cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: 2 weeks to 2 months. Temperature: 55 to 65°F (13 to 18°C). Myrrhis seeds should be frozen for one month prior to sowing. Ten weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors in spring or autumn.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5. Requires deep fertile soil; prepare by digging deep and mixing in manure. If seeds are not required for culinary purposes then deadhead to prevent spread. Once established do not disturb. Propagate: by self-seeding.
Miscellaneous: Leaves are often used in Scandinavian and Germanic cooking for their aniseed flavour.
The seeds of Cicely should be sown outdoors in the winter about 3 months before the last frost of spring is expected. Sow the Cicely seeds at about 3 mm deep into either a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden. Anise likes to grow in deep soil, that is fertile (mix in manure deeply when sowing).
If you prefer to first grow Cicely plants indoors then sow the seeds about two months before they are due outdoors (in the spring or autumn). The first step requires that you freeze the seeds for one month. Next sow at a temperature of 12 to 18 degrees centigrade. It should take from two to six weeks for the Anise seeds to germinate. Once ready transplant Cicely at about 60 cm apart.
It is easy to care for Myrrhis plants as long as they have a deep soil to grow in.
If you are planning to harvest seeds for use in the kitchen, then let them set, otherwise deadhead the plants before the seeds set as Anise is likely to spread uncontrollably given a chance.