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Illicium anisatum

Phonetic Spelling
il-LISS-ee-um an-ee-SAH-tum
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

A broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree in the Schisandraceae (anise) family native to Japan. They grow 6 to 15 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide.  

Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist organically rich well-drained sandy to loam soils.  It prefers acidic soil thriving in conditions similar to rhododendrons. Tolerates wet sites, heavy shade, deer browsing, and erosion.  It is not very cold hardy. 

The leaves are dark green and fragrant, and  are prized by florists because they remain fresh for a long time after pruning. Creamy white scent free flowers are clustered in the leaf axils have many petals.   They do not spread by root sucker to form colonies and only need occasional pruning to maintain shape or remove dead, broken, or crossing branches.  Propagate this plant by stem cutting, layering, or seed.

Plant as an informal hedge, a shrub border, in a rain garden, or allowed to naturalize.    Mass plant them to use as a screen or group them along fences or wall in a cottage garden.  Train it into a small tree an use for a patio planting.  They work well in difficult wet shady areas. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'HinPurlf'
    Deep burgundy new foliage, fragrant flowers
  • 'Murasaki-no-sato'
    New growth dark burgandy fades to dark green. Starry fruits smell like cinnamon.
  • 'Pink Stars'
    Pink flowers
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'HinPurlf', 'Murasaki-no-sato', 'Pink Stars', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#small tree#rain garden#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#cottage garden#erosion control#hedges#deer resistant#naturalizes#cutting garden#flowers mid-summer#flowers early summer#flowers late summer#sensory garden#wet soils tolerant#patio planting#bird friendly#heavy shade tolerant#shrub borders#dense growth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'HinPurlf'
    Deep burgundy new foliage, fragrant flowers
  • 'Murasaki-no-sato'
    New growth dark burgandy fades to dark green. Starry fruits smell like cinnamon.
  • 'Pink Stars'
    Pink flowers
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'HinPurlf', 'Murasaki-no-sato', 'Pink Stars', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#small tree#rain garden#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#cottage garden#erosion control#hedges#deer resistant#naturalizes#cutting garden#flowers mid-summer#flowers early summer#flowers late summer#sensory garden#wet soils tolerant#patio planting#bird friendly#heavy shade tolerant#shrub borders#dense growth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Illicium
    Species:
    anisatum
    Family:
    Schisandraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The leaves are burned and used asĀ incenseĀ in Japan. Leaves are used in floral arrangements.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Korea, Japan to Taiwan
    Wildlife Value:
    Attractive to birds
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer damage
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The dry star shaped fruit is not edible and is toxic in large quantities.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    1-2 in. greenish-yellow to white flowers in spring; fragrant
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Rubbery
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, lustrous, dark green leaves; 2-4 in. long; margins have a wavy texture and have an anise-like or root beer fragrance when crushed.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    Multi-trunked or clumping stems, can be trained into a single trunk
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    New growth is green
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    inflammation, hallucinations, nausea
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Large quantities
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds