Licorice is a wonderful plant that has many uses.
It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
A good plant to grow around the perimeter of the garden as it can fix nitrogen into the soil and it attracts bees.
Uses: Root can be chewed raw or used as a flavouring. The source of liquorice powder that is extracted and used in sweets, baked goods, ice cream, soft drinks etc, it is also used medicinally.
It has a sweet and delicious flavor, but the root is very fibrous. The root contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sucrose.
The dried root is often used for chewing, it is excellent for teething children and also as a tooth cleaner.
A tea made from the roots is an excellent thirst quencher.
The powdered root is also used as a sweetener in other herb teas. The leaves are used as a tea substitute in Mongolia.
Useful gardening information
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Links to useful information on the web:
SF099 Licorice ( Glycyrrhiza glabra )
A tender perennial, hardy for zones 7-10, zone 6 if mulched heavily. The source of most commercial licorice used in the making of candy, liquor, and as a sweetner for herb tea. Root is up to 24% glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Harvest roots in the third or fourth year.
Extracts flavour tobacco, beer, soft drinks and pharmaceutical products. Powerful anti-inflammatory properties effective for arthritis, gastritis, canker sores. Also a mild laxative. 3 year old roots are harvested in the autumn.
SF103 Chinese Licorice Glycyrrhiza uralensis
A perennial for zones 9-10. (Gan-cao) The most commonly used Chinese medicinal herb,occuring in almost all prescriptions, its use being associated with longevity. The sweet tonic herb is an expectorant, neutralizes toxins and balances blood sugar levels.
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