Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Cicely
Myrrhis odorata

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Myrrhis (MIR-iss) (Info)
Species: odorata (oh-dor-AY-tuh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

28 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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Thumbnail #1 of Myrrhis odorata by poppysue

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Dec 14, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Traditionally used as an herb both fresh and in cooking. Tastes of anise/fennel/licorice. Also once used medicinally.

Unusually shade tolerant for an herb.

Seed loses viability quickly. I've had to buy plants to get it started, as the seed I've purchased failed. Self-sows.

Positive LazLo On Dec 14, 2014, LazLo from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Sweet fragrant leaves. Direct sow in fall or cold stratify 2-4 months.

Positive bonehead On Nov 19, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Lacey ferny fragrant foliage. Dainty white flower clusters. Nibble on the young seed pods for a crunchy burst of licorice flavor. I have this planted behind a garden bench in my herb garden.

Positive ccwales On Jun 13, 2005, ccwales from Wales, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Wonderful fragrance, self-sows readily, and is beautiful in the garden. You can smell the wonderful aroma as soon as you get within a couple of feet. A joy to have in the garden.

Positive lupinelover On Jan 24, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

A couple of volunteers in my garden prompted me to search for its identity. One of them grew to more than 6' high. The foliage is outstanding in a shade garden, very ferny in appearance.

Direct sow seeds as soon as they are ripe where the plant should grow: it does not transplant well. The seeds quickly lose their viability, so they should not be stored for any length of time.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Stamford, Connecticut
Cumberland, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Wales, Massachusetts
Weston, Massachusetts
Ishpeming, Michigan
Belton, Missouri
Niagara Falls, New York
Massillon, Ohio
Milford, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (2 reports)
Austin, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Dousman, Wisconsin

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