What is the difference between caraway and dill?

Some people who are not familiar with the classification of seasonings believe that caraway seeds are called dill seeds. This opinion arises because these two cultures are very similar to each other in appearance and have the same properties useful to humans. In this article we will deal with the description and some features of the cultivation of these fragrant herbs, and also find out whether this is one and the same or not.

Is caraway and dill the same thing?

In appearance, the fruits of caraway are really easy to mistake for dill seeds. But in fact, these herbs belong to two different families and differ from each other in some botanical characteristics and growing characteristics. Therefore, the assertion that caraway seeds are dried dill seeds is a mistake.

Did you know? The Russian name for dill comes from the word “sprinkle” - in Russia, the green leaves of the plant were finely chopped and “sprinkled” with them the cooked dish immediately before serving.

Description and characteristics of plants

Cumin can be easily distinguished from dill at the stage of flowering plants. In addition, if you look closely at the fruits, then between them you can also notice small external differences. To finally make sure that caraway and dill are completely different plants, we consider the characteristics of each of them separately.


The homeland of caraway seeds is East, where it was widely known as far back as 5000 years ago. Since then, this spice has been grown in many countries and has been very popular.

Consider the detailed description and characteristics of this plant:

  1. This culture is a two-year-old herbaceous plant of the celery family. Its second name is field anise, thyme.
  2. The stem of the plant is hollow inside and can reach a height of up to 1 m.
  3. Long elongated leaves grow on the stem. Their size is up to 20 cm in length and 10 cm in width.
  4. The inflorescences are in the shape of an umbrella and consist of small white or reddish flowers about 1.5 mm wide. Their petals are oval and slightly bent inside the flower.
  5. Seed ripening occurs in late July, while umbrellas acquire a characteristic brown color.
  6. The fruits have an ovoid elongated shape. They reach a length of 3 cm and are divided by a furrow into two halves.
  7. The taste of the seeds is bitter-tart, and the essential oils contained in them are a source of a specific smell.

Important! Caraway seeds contain many useful substances for the human body and are often used to prepare medicinal decoctions in folk medicine.


It is often grown in large and small farms. The birthplace of this fragrant grass is Southern Europe and Egypt, where it has grown in ancient times in the wild.

Consider the main characteristics of the plant:

  1. Dill belongs to the Umbrella family and is an annual herbaceous plant.
  2. The ground part is an upright stalk with a height of 40 to 120 cm with numerous lateral branches.
  3. The leaves are large near the base and smaller near the apex; they have a four-fold pinnate dissection.
  4. The flowering period falls in June. At this stage, umbrellas can be cut and used as a spice.
  5. Inflorescences are in the form of a large umbrella and consist of small yellow flowers with petals slightly bent outward.
  6. Full ripening of fruits occurs in late August or early September.
  7. Seeds have an ovoid, slightly flattened shape and are divided into two parts by a longitudinal furrow. Their length is about 5 mm, and their width is up to 3 mm.
  8. The fruits have a spicy taste and strong aroma. Used in traditional medicine.
Find out also the difference between fennel and dill.

What is the difference between caraway and dill?

At first glance, these two plants are very similar to each other and an inexperienced person can easily confuse them.

To always correctly determine what is in front of you - cumin or dill, you need to know the main differences between these fragrant herbs:

  • spices belong to different families, dill is an annual plant, and caraway seeds are biennial;
  • caraway leaves are oval and oblong, and at dill they are pinnately dissected;
  • during flowering, caraway umbrellas consist of whitish-pink flowers, and dill umbrellas are yellow in color;
  • thyme fruits ripen in the middle of summer and have a shorter length, and dill seeds look more flattened and can only be picked in September;
  • caraway seeds use only fruits, and dill uses young stems, inflorescences, and seeds.

Did you know? In India, caraway is one of the main ingredients for making soap.

Growing Features

Caraway and dill are often used in everyday life for a wide variety of purposes. Therefore, some farmers begin to independently grow these spices on their site. To get a good crop, you need to follow certain recommendations for growing these crops.

Features of growing dill are described below:

  • good predecessors in the area for this plant will be vegetables and cabbage;
  • the plant needs to be planted in an open area with good lighting and neutral, loose soil;
  • for better germination, the planting material must be subjected to heat treatment for disinfection before sowing, soaked in water for 2-3 days, and then dried;
  • planting seeds in open ground can be carried out in early spring, summer or late autumn (depending on variety), between adjacent sprouts leave a distance of about 5-10 cm;
  • the plant grows well at an air temperature of +18 ... + 25 ° С, and dill seeds are not afraid of low air temperatures and can germinate in the soil even at a temperature of about + 3 ° С;
  • after seed germination, weeding is carried out and the soil is loosened in the beds;
  • manure, urea, potassium salt and superphosphate are used as fertilizers;
  • if necessary, the rows of dill need to be thinned so that at least 5 cm remains between the plants;
  • watering should not be too plentiful, but regular so that the land never dries up;
  • Harvest time depends on the purpose of the plant. To prepare salads, young dill stalks are cut in late May or early June. In the second half of summer, stems and fragrant umbrellas are often used as spices. Ripe seeds are harvested in September.

Important! Dill is not picky about the nutritional composition of the soil and can be grown in any soil, subject to regular fertilizer application.

Consider a list of the main features of growing cumin:

  • for good yield, caraway seeds need to be planted in the area where cereals or legumes were previously grown;
  • the plant needs good lighting and fertile and loose soil with good breathability;
  • planting material must first be germinated and kept in the refrigerator for about 7 days;
  • seed planting is carried out in early spring or before the onset of winter immediately into the open ground according to the 25 × 7 cm pattern;
  • this spice can be grown at an air temperature of about + 20 ° C, while planted seeds can germinate even at a temperature of + 8 ° C;
  • after the emergence of seedlings, weeding is carried out on the bed and regular loosening of the earth;
  • ammonia nitrate, potassium salt or superphosphate are added as fertilizers;
  • in the autumn, at the end of the first year of cultivation, the rows of caraway seeds are thinned so that at least 15 cm remains between adjacent sprouts;
  • watering should be moderate but regular, it is especially important to provide the plant with moisture during the period of stem growth and flowering;
  • Harvesting of fruits begins after the lower leaves of the plant begin to dry.

Caraway and dill are often used in traditional medicine and cooking. Guided by the characteristics of these plants listed in this article and knowing the main differences between them, you can easily distinguish them from each other.

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