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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Anethum
Species: A. graveolens
Binomial name
Anethum graveolens

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a short-lived perennial herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke.



It grows to 40–60 cm (16–24 in), with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The ultimate leaf divisions are 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels 2–9 cm (0.79–3.5 in) diameter. The seeds are 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.

Origins and history

Dried dill umbel

Dill originated in Eastern Europe[citation needed]. Zohary and Hopf remark that "wild and weedy types of dill are widespread in the Mediterranean basin and in West Asia."

Although several twigs of dill were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II, they report that the earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic lake shore settlements in Switzerland.[1] Traces have been found in Roman ruins in Great Britain.

In Semitic languages it is known by the name of Shubit. The Talmud requires that tithes shall be paid on the seeds, leaves, and stem of dill. The Bible states that the Pharisees were in the habit of paying dill as tithe.[2] Jesus rebuked them for tithing dill but omitting justice, mercy and faithfulness.[3]

Nomenclature and taxonomy

The name dill comes from Old English dile, thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word dylle meaning to soothe or lull[citation needed], the plant having the carminative property of relieving gas. In Sanskrit, this herb is termed as Shatapushpa. The seeds of this herb is also termed as Shatakuppi sompa, Shatapushpi, Sabasige, Badda sompu, Sabasiga, Surva, Soyi, Sowa, Soya in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannanda, Gujarathi, Hindi, Punjabi etc. It is also used as slang, calling someone a "dill weed" implies they are slow or have limited mental capacity.


Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called "dill weed" to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs, mainly in Sweden and Iran.

Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickles (where the dill flower is sometimes used). Dill is said to be best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.

Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavor somewhat similar to caraway, but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed. Dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals.[4] And, dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant.

In arabic(palestinian) dill seed is called ain jaradeh(means cricket eye) used as a spice in cold dishes like fattosh and pickles. In Lao cuisine and parts of northern Thailand and Vietnam dill is known in English as Laotian coriander[5] and Lao cilantro (Lao: ຜັກຊີ, Thai: ผักชีลาว, Vietnamese: Thì là). In the Lao language it is called Phak See and in Thai it is known as Phak Chee Lao.[6] In Lao cuisine, the herb is typically used in mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaf) and several coconut milk-based curries that contain fish or prawns. Lao coriander is also an essential ingredient in Vietnamese dishes like chả cá and canh cá thì là.

In Iran, dill is known as "Shevid" and is sometimes used with rice and called "Shevid-Polo". In India, Dill is known as 'Savaa' in Hindi.

In Gujarat,India, Dill ( Suva bhaji ) is made with or without any pulse ( like yellow Moong dal ) as a main course meal dish. Since Suva bhaji is naturally little salty , care should be taken to add little less salt. Suva ( Dill) has very good Anti-Gas property and hence it's used as mukhwas ( after meal digestive ) and specially given to mothers as a post child born maternity care tradition.


Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil. The seeds are viable for 3–10 years. Plants intended for seed for further planting should not be grown near fennel, as the two species can hybridise[citation needed].

The seed is harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed is beginning to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm dry place for a week. The seeds then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container.

Aroma profile


External links

Notes and references

  1. ^ Zohary, Daniel; Hopf, Maria (2000). Domestication of plants in the Old World (3rd edition ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 206. ISBN 0198503571. 
  2. ^ Matthew 23:23
  3. ^ Matthew 23:23[citation needed]
  4. ^ Whole Foods Profile
  5. ^ Davidson, A. (2003). Seafood of South-East Asia, 2nd edition. Ten Speed Press.
  6. ^ Ling, K. F. (2002). The Food of Asia. Periplus Editions.
  7. ^ Bailer, Josef et al. (2001). "Essential oil content and composition in commercially available dill cultivars in comparison to caraway". Industrial Crops and Products (Elsevier) 14 (3): 229–239. doi:10.1016/S0926-6690(01)00088-7. 
  8. ^ Santos, Pedro A.G. et al. (2002). "Hairy root cultures of Anethum graveolens (dill): establishment, growth, time-course study of their essential oil and its comparison with parent plant oils". Biotechnology Letters (Springer) 24 (12): 1031–1036. doi:10.1023/A:1015653701265. 
  9. ^ a b Singh, Gurdip et al. (2005). "Chemical Constituents, Antimicrobial Investigations, and Antioxidative Potentials of Anethum graveolens L. Essential Oil and Acetone Extract: Part 52". Journal of Food Science (John Wiley & Sons) 70 (4): M208 - M215. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Dhalwal, Kamlesh et al. (2008). "Efficient and Sensitive Method for Quantitative Determination and Validation of Umbelliferone, Carvone and Myristicin in Anethum graveolens and Carum carvi Seed". Chromatographia (Springer) 67 (1 - 2): 163–167. doi:10.1365/s10337-007-0473-6. 
  11. ^ Blank, I.; W. Grosch (1991). "Evaluation of Potent Odorants in Dill Seed and Dill Herb (Anethum graveolens L.) by Aroma Extract Dilution Analysis". Journal of Food Science (John Wiley & Sons) 56 (1): 63–67. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1991.tb07976.x. 
  12. ^ Delaquis, Pascal J. et al. (2002). "Antimicrobial activity of individual and mixed fractions of dill, cilantro, coriander and eucalyptus essential oils". International Journal of Food Microbiology (Elsevier) 74 (1 - 2): 101–109. doi:10.1016/S0168-1605(01)00734-6. 
  13. ^ Jirovetz, Leopold et al. (2003). "Composition, Quality Control, and Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil of Long-Time Stored Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) Seeds from Bulgaria". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (American Chemical Society) 51 (13): 3854 – 3857. doi:10.1021/jf030004y. 

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DILL (Anethum or Peucedanum graveolens), a member of the natural botanical order Umbelliferae, indigenous to the south of Europe, Egypt and the Cape of Good Hope. It resembles fennel in appearance. Its root is long and fusiform; the stem is round, jointed and about a yard high; the leaves have fragrant leaflets; and the fruits are brown, oval and concavo-convex. The plant flowers from June till August in England. The seeds are sown, preferably as soon as ripe, either broadcast or in drills between 6 and 12 in. asunder. The young plants should be thinned when 3 or 4 weeks old, so as to be at distances of about 1 0 in. A sheltered spot and dry soil are needed for the production of the seed in the climate of England. The leaves of the dill are used in soups and sauces, and, as well as the umbels, for flavouring pickles. The seeds are employed for the preparation of dill-water and oil of dill; they are largely consumed in the manufacture of gin, and, when ground, are eaten in the East as a condiment. The British Pharmacopoeia contains the Aqua Anethi or dillwater (dose 1-2 oz.), and the Oleum Anethi, almost identical in composition with caraway oil, and given in doses of 2-3 minims. Dill-water is largely used as a carminative for children, and as a vehicle for the exhibition of nauseous drugs.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also dill



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