Hardy herbaceous perennial legume native to the Middle East, southern Europe, and parts of Asia. Its name comes from the Greek for ‘sweet root’, the sweetness mostly contained in the compound glycyrrhizin, which is 30–50 times sweeter than sugar and longer-lasting. . The roots can be harvested in the autumn two to three years after planting to use as a sweetener and chewed to clean teeth. Glycyrrhiza glabra, and the closely related Chinese equivalent G. uralensis (known as gancao, or ‘sweet grass’), have been highly valued medicinal herbs for thousands of years. They have many uses, in particular treatment of indigestion and stomach inflammation but also cough suppression, ulcer treatment, and as a laxative. Licorice should not be consumed in excess and not during pregnancy.
The plant is a nitrogen-fixer and attracts bees. Grows best in rich well-drained but moist soils in full sun. Height to 1m. 9cm pot. Certified organic plant.