How to Grow Pimpinella Plants

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Anise and Aniseed

The Pimpinella plant genus consists hardy annual herbs that reach from 45 to 90 cm (18 to 36 inches) in height.

Some common names for Pimpinella include Aniseed and Anise.

Latin names include Pimpinella anisum, Pimpinella major rosea, Pimpinella saxifraga.


Aniseed blooms in the summer with umbels of tiny white flowers and plants are converted for their seeds; these should be harvested once they begin to turn gray and loosen easily from their coats.

Anise by Michale; creative commons.

Aniseed by FotoosVanRobin; creative commons.

Pimpinella Plant Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Anise, Anis, Aniseed, Burnet saxifrage.
Life Cycle: Hardy annual.
Height: 20 to 36 inches (50 to 90 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, Europe, Western Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 4 to 9.

Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: White, pink. Umbels.
Foliage: Pinnate/feather-like. Simple, lobed (at the base).

Sow Outside: 1/4 inch (6 mm). Following the last frost. Spacing 4 to 10 inches (10 to 25 cm).
Sow Inside: Use peat pots. Germination time: three to four weeks. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Nine or ten weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Soil pH 5.5 to 6.5. Average soil. Moist soil. Provide support. Regular watering during prolonged dry periods. Harvest when seeds turn grey.
Family: Apiaceae.
Miscellaneous: Anise has a liquorice taste. Anise fruit is known as aniseed. Burnet Saxifrage is used in traditional German green sauce (Grüne Soße) along with Borage, Chervil, Dill, Chives, Cress, Sorrel and Parsley.

How to Grow Aniseed and other Pimpinella Plants in the Garden

The seeds of Aniseed should be sown at a depth of 6 mm (1/4 inch) following the last frost of spring.

Pimpinella Plants prefer an ordinary soil that is slightly acidic, about pH 5.5 to 6.5. The soil should have good drainage.

It is best to grow Aniseed herbs in a sunny area of the garden, and to space them at about 15 cm (6 inches) apart. This will allow the aniseed plants to support each other, and make the harvesting of aniseeds less hassle.

If starting off Aniseed indoors, then grow them about two months in advance.

The seeds should take about four weeks to germinate at around 20 degrees centigrade (68°F). Once ready, transplant the Aniseed outdoors in mid-spring, when there is no chance of a frost.

Caring for Aniseed - Pimpinella Plant

Aniseed and other Pimpinella plants have gangly growth so keep them close together or stake them.

They should be watered during prolonged dry spells and not transplanted once established.

Common Questions

How many members does the Pimpinella genus contain?

The Pimpinella plant genus, best known for Anise, consists of about 150 species.

Do Pimpinella members make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Pimpinella plants can make a good addition to herb gardens, borders, or as part of a wildlife-friendly planting scheme.

Which Pimpinella species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is Pimpinella anisum (Anise). It is grown not only for its fragrant foliage and seeds but also for its feathery, ornamental leaves.

Are Pimpinella plants fragrant?

Yes, the leaves and seeds of Pimpinella anisum are highly aromatic, producing a distinct, sweet aroma reminiscent of licorice.

What is the perfect location to grow Pimpinella?

Pimpinella species prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They appreciate some afternoon shade in hotter climates.

Is Pimpinella invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Pimpinella species are not listed as invasive in the USA. However, like many plants, they can become aggressive in growth if not managed well.

How do I remove Pimpinella plants from my garden?

Pimpinella plants can be removed by digging them up, taking care to get all the root system to prevent the plant from regrowing.


The Pimpinella genus is part of the Apiaceae family and includes both annual and perennial species. Many of these plants, including the well-known Aniseed, are known for their aromatic leaves and dainty flower clusters.

Pimpinella plants enjoy a location with full sun and well-drained soil. Spring or fall is the best time for planting. These plants, with their fragrant foliage and attractive flowers, add interest to herb gardens, borders, or wildflower meadows.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Pimpinella plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Anethum graveolens, Mirabilis plant, and Ammi plants.