Glycyrrhiza glabra is a perennial herb native to Eurasia, northern Africa and western Asia. It belongs to the pea and bean family, and is very attractive to bees. Light blue to violet (rarely white) resembling sweet pea flowers in shape. The flowers are held in loose, conical spires, almost as long as the leaves, each consisting of 10 or more individual flowers.
Glycyrrhiza glabra contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar. It was well known by the ancient Greeks and Romans for its sweetness and is still a popular flavoring for confectionery today ; it is also valued for its medicinal qualities.