Modern lexicographers agree that the plant referred to by the Greek term aʹne·thon is the dill (Anethum graveolens) rather than the anise (Gr., anʹne·son), as in older translations (KJ, Dy). The dill is more commonly cultivated than the anise in the Palestine region today, and evidence indicates that it was cultivated from ancient times in the Middle East, as well as by the Greeks and Romans. Dill was among the plants the hypocritical Pharisees punctiliously tithed, while failing to observe the weightier matters of the Law. (Mt 23:23) The Jewish Mishnah (Maʽaserot 4:5) prescribed that not only the seeds but also the plant and pods were subject to tithe.
The plant is weedlike in growth, resembles anise, and attains a height of about 0.5 m (2 ft) with finely cut, clear green leaves and sprays of small yellow flowers. It is cultivated for its aromatic seeds, which are much valued for flavoring foods and also medicinally for treatment of stomach ailments.