How to Grow Myrrhis Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Sweet Cecily

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 (3 to 5 feet) 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
Myrrhis odorata (Sweet cecily) photograph by amandabhslater.

Sweet Cicely plants
Sweet Cicely plants picture by wallygrom.

Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Cicely, Sweet Cicely.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 36 to 78 inches (90 to 200 cm).
Native: Europe.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 9.

Flowers: Summer.
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.
Family: Apiaceae.
Miscellaneous: Leaves are often used in Scandinavian and Germanic cooking for their aniseed flavour.

How to Grow Cicely and other Myrrhis Plants in the Garden

The seeds of Cicely should be sown outdoors in the winter about three months before the last frost of spring is expected.

Sow the Cicely seeds at about 3 mm (1/8 inch) 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. They can be put out in the spring or autumn.

The first step of germination requires that you freeze the seeds for one month. Next sow at a temperature of 12 to 18 degrees centigrade (54 to 64°F).

It should take from two to six weeks for the Anise seeds to germinate. Once ready transplant Cicely at about 60 cm (2 feet) apart.

Caring for Myrrhis Plant

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.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Myrrhis plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Astrantia, Zinnia plant, and Foeniculum plants.