Liquorice (UK) or licorice (North America) (see spelling differences; pronounced /'l?k?r??, 'l?k?r?s, 'l?kr??/, or /'l?kr?s/) is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra (from the greek ?????????a or ????????a meaning "sweet root"), from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a legume (related to beans and peas), native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is not related to Anise, Star Anise and Fennel, which are the source of superficially similar flavouring compounds. It is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 1 m in height, with pinnate leaves about 7â€“15 centimetres (3â€“6 in) long, with 9â€“17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8â€“1.2 cm (Â½â€“? in) long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2â€“3 centimetres (1 in) long, containing several seeds. The flavor of licorice comes mainly from a sweet-tasting compound called anethole ("trans"-1-methoxy-4-(prop-1-enyl)benzene), an aromatic, unsaturated ether compound also found in anise, fennel, and other herbs. Additional sweetness in licorice comes from glycyrrhizic acid, an anti-viral compound significantly sweeter than sugar.