, name for a European plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra
) of the family Leguminosae (pulse
family) and for the sweet substance obtained from the root. Since early times the root has been used medicinally (for coughs and as a laxative); it is used also in brewing, for confectionery, and for flavoring (e.g., in some tobacco). The licorice plant, a perennial with blue pealike blossoms, is cultivated chiefly in the Middle East. Another species, the wild licorice (G. lepidota
), is native to North America; other plants of similar flavor may be called licorice. Licorice is classified in the division Magnoliophyta
, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
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