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Orion Anise-tree Illicium 'Orion'

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Illicium ‘NCIH2’
Phonetic Spelling
il-LISS-ee-um
Description

This evergreen shrub is an NCSU introduction from Tom Ranney, bred at the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab.  It is a hybrid between the species I. floridanum and I. mexicanum which are now classified under the former's name.  The large, pale white flowers bloom multiple times throughout the year and the shrub is compact in shape and size.  It does best in partial shade and moist soil, tolerating shady, damp, and wet sites well.

More information on Illicium floridanum.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#rain garden#white flowers#shade tolerant#fragrant leaves#shade shrub#shade garden#year-round interest#flowering shrub#mci#hybrids#evergreen shrub#erect#wet soils tolerant#compact#cultivar
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#rain garden#white flowers#shade tolerant#fragrant leaves#shade shrub#shade garden#year-round interest#flowering shrub#mci#hybrids#evergreen shrub#erect#wet soils tolerant#compact#cultivar
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Illicium
    Family:
    Schisandraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Hybrid origin
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Fragrance
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A star-shaped follicetum about an inch in diameter, yellow-green when immature and brown when mature. 9-14 seeds per fruit.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    This cultivar has large, yellowish-white flowers with numerous strap-shaped, radial petals (averages 22). They are solitary and are outward-facing to nodding. They last 5-10 days and each has a slight anise fragrance. The shrub itself has two main bloom seasons, first in April-May and again in September-November, blooming sporadically in between.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The fragrant, glossy, leathery leaves are evergreen, staying on the plant all year long. They are yellow-green in color and arranged alternately to almost whorled on the stems. The veining is reticulate.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Lateral branches range between 7.5 and 18 inches long. The shape is rounded and has a very thin diameter, no more than 1/4 inch. Internodes are between 2.5 and 5 inches long. The stem surface is smooth, the color yellow-green maturing to a grey-brown.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil