Thursday, June 23, 2011
Anethum graveolens (Dill): Anise's Misnomer
Like parsley and fennel, dill (Anethum graveolens), is a member of the Umbelliferare family, known for its distinct umbrella-shaped inflorescences. I grow Anethum graveolens, and it is truly an exquisite addition to my garden. It is wonderful to use in homemade soups, scones, and in cookies. However, I confess that I rarely use it for such purposes because like my Tropaelum majus (Nasturtium) and my Strawberries, (plants that I have discussed in previous posts which you can refer to by clicking here and here respectively), I often find the beauty which it adds to my urban terrace garden, keeps me from cutting it.
I have just recently learned that dill "regularly appears under the misnomer 'anise' throughout the King James version of the Bible", and, that "confusion has continued to be perpetuated partly because botanists and zoologists were not part of the team of transcribers of this authorized interpretation; and so the apricot that Adam and Eve ate became an apple, the crocodile became a whale, the bull became a unicorn and dill became anise."
My source on this trivia is credited to Abbie Zabar who included it in her book, The Potted Herb, a delightful read with beautiful drawings.