Aniseed Myrtle

This stunning rainforest tree is both highly ornamental and a very desirable for its bushfood characteristics. It’s quite rare in the wild, native to a few areas of North East New South Wales however its popularity within the bushfood and horticultural industries promises its security within our flora environment.

The tree can reach up to 45 metres in a rainforest environment but most often 8-10 metres as a small to medium tree in open garden situations. It’s usually harvested as a hedge to 2-3 metres in bushfood plantations. The plant has a dense cover of fine lush green foliage throughout the year with white scented flowers in the spring.

The tree prefers regular watering and fertiliser to looks its best as a foliage feature plant. It will enjoy both full sun and part shade positions and makes an excellent tub specimen particularly when regularly pruned to encourage fresh tip growth.

Its name comes from the strong aniseed scented and flavoured leaves. The leaves are often used for flavouring desserts, sweet sauces and preserves. It also is popular as a scented savoury sauce or marinade for meats and sets a deep fragrant flavour to salad dressings.

Dried and ground Aniseed Myrtle is available at Taste Australia Bush Food Shop – 10gm, 20gm, 50gm, 100gm

Description: A hardy, evergreen bushy tree. Bark: Attractive, reddish-brown, corky bark.

Foliage: Beautiful aniseed scented foliage which can be used fresh or dried for flavourings and teas.

Flowers: Profuse clusters of small creamy-white. flowers, produced at the ends of branches in spring.
Cultivation: Plant in fertile, well composted soil, providing some protection from frost

How to use it:

Made from the crushed leaves of Aniseed Myrtle it has a subtle sweet liquorice flavour. Great with fish or port, steamed rice, seafood, biscuits, ice-cream or tea.

Traditionally used for weight loss, lactation and stomach complaints.

Kale & Parsley Pesto
Blend 2 tspns coriander, 1 tspn lemon myrtle, 1/2 tspn aniseed myrtle, 1 tspn mountain pepper, 1 tspn bush tomato and 100gm macadamias with handful fresh kale, handful parsley, 50gm grated parmesan, 2 garlic cloves, tbspn honey and macadamia oil

Spread on toast, use as a dip, stir through pasta, stuff chicken fillets


Rich Aniseed Chocolate Tart with Davidson Plum Topping

250gm Chocolate Biscuits
90gm melted butter

Whizz biscuits until crumbed and then add butter. Press into lightly greased tart case and refrigerate until set.

200gm cooking chocolate
1 dspn Aniseed Myrtle
25gm unsalted butter
100ml cream

Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and then add butter. Slowly add cream until a smooth texture is achieved. Turn off heat and add Aniseed Myrtle.
Pour into prepared biscuit base and refrigerate.

100gm Davidson Plums
half cup sugar

Cover deseeded plums with water and cook until soft. Then add sugar to taste. Refrigerate until cold.
When chocolate is set spread over top.

Sweet Aniseed & Cherry Pizza

3 cups of plain flour
2 packets of powdered yeast
20gm of aniseed myrtle
100gm of demerara or coffee sugar
200gm morello cherries


Combine flour, yeast and enough warm water to make a soft, easily worked dough. Knead until smooth and place in a bowl covered with cling-film to prove for 1 hour.

Divide in half and roll out 2 circles or rectangles, 1/2 cm thick, (to fit a pizza tray).

Place aniseed myrtleand sugar in a mortar and crush until fine. Roll cherries in sugar mix so that they are coated.

Lay half the cherries on the first sheet of dough and sprinkle half the aniseed sugar mix over. Now lay the other sheet of dough on top. Scatter the remaining cherries, aniseed sugar mix on top, pressing the cherries into the dough.

Bake in a preheated oven at 250C for 15 min.

Allow to cool then serve.

Aniseed Myrtle Shortbread

125gm butter
40gm sugar
25gm icing sugar
250gm plain flour
1 desertspoon Aniseed Myrtle
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Orange Blossom Water (or orange juice)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add icing sugar. Blend. Sift flour with Aniseed Myrtle and salt and then slowly add to the mixture alternating with orange blossom water until a smooth dough is formed.

Divide dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Shape into bars about 1cm thick. Place on ungreased sheet. Bake 150C for 15 to 20 minutes until pale golden (not brown).

Leave to cool and then transfer to wire rack.

Aniseed Myrtle Truffles

50gm butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
180gm chocolate
1 desertspoon Aniseed Myrtle
150gm Macadamia Nuts
2 Tablespoons Cream

Place first 5 ingredients into a bowl and melt over a saucepan of hot water. Then add the nuts and cream. Mix well. Drop spoonfuls into paper patty pans. Refrigerate to set.