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Anise is a member of the carrot family (Apiaceae=Umbelliferae). It is an annual 60 to 70 cm in height. The lower leaves are heart-shaped, but the upper ones are divided. The small white flowers are borne in compound umbels.
Star Anise (Illicium verum) is sometimes used as a substitute for true Anise. Star Anise, which is cultivated in Southeast Asia, is a member of a different family (the magnolia family, Magnoliaceae), but contains an essential oil similar to that found in true Anise.
(Vaughan and Geissler 1997)