Anise, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and licorice. Anise was first cultivated in Egypt and the Middle East, but was brought to Europe for its medicinal value. Anise plants grow best in light, fertile, well-drained soil. The seeds should be planted as soon as the ground warms up in spring. Because the plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after being established, so they should be started either in their final location or transplanted while the seedlings are still small.