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Sweet Cicely

Myrrhis odorata

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Bellingham, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Dousman, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 9, 2015, CharlysGardenPl from Ferndale, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Profusely self seeds, vigorous grower can smother desired plants.


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.

I've seen this reach over 6' tall.

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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.