At my house, in the fall, we have the sweet scent of anise scenting the breeze. I have a plant outside of my guestroom that grows taller than my head. On it are this year's seeds and next year's flowers. I picked a bouquet to bring the anise scent into the house.
I put the anise in an old vase an artist had made for my grandfather. I hadn't used it in a long time. I see now that was a mistake. It really lends itself to a bouquet such as this one.
The feathery green is part of the living plant. Here's a closer view.
I have fennel in my front yard. Until today, I didn't know how to tell the difference without smelling the seeds. Today I see the anise seed pods look like dried flowers. They easily give up their seeds.
The fennel seed pods close up around the seeds and don't let them go until Spring. Here's some fennel seed pods. The parent plants look almost the same.
See how the fennel flowers cradle and protect their seeds?
Both mature plants look about the same. The anise flowers are yellow, the fennel flowers are white. I've lived here for 10 years and only now have I figured it out.