Nomenclature

The Latin name Pimpinella was originally used in reference to various species of the genus Sanguisorba (Rosaceae), because of the similarity between the leaves of certain Pimpinella species (e.g., P. saxifraga) and those of Sanguisorba species.

Anise was used and cultivated in ancient Egypt (Hedrick, 1972). Theophrastus, in Historia Plantarum, mentions it along with cumin, coriander, dill, or fennel as a condiment herb characterized by its naked seeds, an idea that lasted until the eighteenth century and that led De Jussieu (1748-1836) to the use of this character to separate the Umbelliferae from the Araliaceae, as in the taxa of the latter the seeds are enclosed in a fleshy pericarp.

In the third century, Albertus Magnus referred to anise as Roman fennel, a name that was conserved and subsequently used by Ruellius in France in 1536 (Hedrick, 1972). Bahuin (1671) used the specific name Anisum herbariis, which was later included by Linnaeus (1753) under P. anisum.

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