|—n , pl -lies|
|short for sweet cicely|
|[C16: from Latin seselis, from Greek, of obscure origin; influenced in spelling by the English proper name Cicely]|
(Myrrhis odorata), perennial herb of the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). It has a leafy hollow stem 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 feet) high; much-divided leaves, whitish beneath; a large sheathing base; and terminal clusters of small white flowers, of which only the outer ones are fertile. The fruit is dark brown, 1.9 to 2.5 cm (0.7 to 1 inch) long, narrow, and beaked. The plant, native to central and southern Europe, is found in parts of England and Scotland in pastures, usually near houses. It has aromatic and stimulant properties and was once used as a potherb.
Learn more about cicely with a free trial on Britannica.com.