Botanical name

Annesorhiza macrocarpa

Family

Apiaceae

Common Name

Wilde-anyswortel

Description

Perennial up to 1.6m, roots numerous, slightly or distinctly fleshy, often fluted. Leaves drying at flowering, pinnately divided, glabrous, rachis curved; inflorescence is hairless and yellowish-brown, flowers yellow.

Fruit large, 8-12mm long, oblong.

Small tubers have a pleasant taste of anise (Afrik: anys) and were eaten by the Khoisan. In 1652, Jan van Riebeeck found a loacal Hottentot tribe looking for "worteljiens" which he later described as having a somewhat aromatic flavour, tasting like aniseed and parsnip. The plant explorer Carl Thunberg recorded in 1772 that 'the Anyswortel was eaten roasted in the embers, or boiled in milk, or stewed with meat and tasted well" Ref: Common Names of South African Plants; C.A. Smith; Dept. of Agricultural Technical Services 1966.

 

Habitat

Coastal dunes and sandy slopes

Flower Date

August to January

Introduced Plant

No