- Family: Illiciaceae
- Form: Evergreen, large, woody shrub to small tree with a multi-trunked nature reaching up to 20 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide. Pruning helps to maintain form.
- Leaves: Simple, alternate, elliptical with an acute apex and entire margins. 3-5 inches long. Dark, glossy green on top; lighter, dull green underneath. When crushed or bruised, the leaves produce a pleasant licorice or anise fragrance.
- Stem/Bark: Brown bark gets woody with age.
- Flower: Insignificant, small (0.5 - 0.75 inch) yellow-green 5-petaled flowers arise from leaf axils in the spring.
- Fruit: 1 inch diameter star-shaped capsule. Fruits mature late summer to early fall and are brown when mature.
- Comments: This species occurs naturally in Florida along streams, swamps and other moist areas but is tolerant of drier conditions especially when fully established. It’s adaptability and tolerance of various conditions lends itself well to a wide variety of landscape uses including hedges, screening, background shrubs, retention ponds, canal banks and drainage swales. Illicium floridana, Red Anise, also occurs in Florida, has showier maroon flowers and tends to be smaller than I. parviflorum. A related non-native species, I. verum, is the source of star anise spice that is traditionally used in cooking.
- Additional Resources:
IFAS document (pdf)