Anise is a flowering plant scientifically known as Pimpinella anisum, and commonly known as aniseed. That common name most likely comes from the fact that the fruits of this plant, which looks like small seeds, are the most highly prized part.The taste of this plant is very recognizable, as it tastes just like licorice, even if you don’t know the name of this plant. Native to the Mediterranean and western Asian regions, this plant has been cultivated for thousands of years. The fruit of this plant is quite small and resembles many other common seeds. Anise seeds feature oblong or curved, comma shape, about 3-4 mm long, light brown color and fine stripes over its outer surface. The extracted essential oil from these dried fruits is extremely powerful and can provide a number of the health benefits for which anise is known. Star anise (Illicium verum) is a spicy fruit-pod, obtained from the evergreen tree native to South-West China. It has a similar flavor and taste like that of anise seed. Star-shaped fruits appear on the tree which turns rust-red color when completely ripe. On the interior, these fruits envelope small, round, amber-colored seeds. Both the seed as well as fruit husks used as a spice in cooking.