Spanish licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).—A to Z Botanical Collection/EB Inc.

Perennial herb (Glycyrrhiza glabra) of the pea family (see legume) and the flavouring, confection, and medicine made from its roots. Native to southern Europe, the plant is cultivated around the Mediterranean and in parts of the U.S. It grows to 3 ft (1 m) and bears graceful compound leaves, blue-violet flower clusters, and flat, flexible seedpods 3–4 in. (7–10 cm) long. It is 42 times sweeter than table sugar, and its flavour, similar to anise, can mask unpleasant medicinal tastes.

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