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Illicium parviflorum is often confused with:
Illicium floridanum Illicum floridanum
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Ulmus americana Full Form
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea

Hardy Anise Shrub Illicium parviflorum

Phonetic Spelling
il-LISS-ee-um par-VEE-flor-um
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The hardy anise shrub is a large, upright, dense, evergreen shrub or small tree in the Schisandraceae (starvine) family. The common name refers to the licorice scent of its leaves when brushed or crushed. It is native to the lower southeastern United States and is the most cold hardy of the Illicum species.  

The plant should be grown in partial to full shade. It is moderately drought tolerant and can tolerate a range of soil types but prefers moist but well-drained soil. It has a vigorous growth rate, is easy to grow, and reaches 15 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide with a clumping or sympodial growth habit. It blooms from May to June and may sucker to form colonies. It does not change color in the fall.

Plant this shrub as a screen, a hedge, or along the back of a border in moist, shady areas. It also makes an excellent addition to a woodland garden or as a foundation plant. This plant is particularly resistant to damage by deer.

Quick ID Hints:

  • New leaves are soft yellow-green
  • Adult leaves are olive green and 2 to 4 inches long
  • Has unique, imbricate, green buds
  • Flowers are yellowish-green, have 6 to 12 petals, and are 1.5 inches wide

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

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Dry Stream Garden Deck Planting
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Florida Sunshine'
Tags:
#evergreen#hardy#poisonous#shrub#easy to grow#fragrant leaves#shade garden#woody#dappled shade#hedges#moist soil#disease resistant#cpp#pest resistant#deer resistant#foundation planting#naturalizes#acidic soils tolerant#alkaline soils tolerant#screening#fantz#evergreen shrub#border back#wet soils tolerant#loamy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#partial sun tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Florida Sunshine'
Tags:
#evergreen#hardy#poisonous#shrub#easy to grow#fragrant leaves#shade garden#woody#dappled shade#hedges#moist soil#disease resistant#cpp#pest resistant#deer resistant#foundation planting#naturalizes#acidic soils tolerant#alkaline soils tolerant#screening#fantz#evergreen shrub#border back#wet soils tolerant#loamy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#partial sun tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Illicium
    Species:
    parviflorum
    Family:
    Schisandraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Florida and Dominican Republic
    Distribution:
    lower southeastern United States
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer
    Edibility:
    POISONOUS IF INGESTED. NOT a substitute for the star anise spice.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Open
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Aggregate
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A star-shaped fruit no greater than an inch composed of many follicles that split open at maturity. Cannot be used as a spice, unlike its similarly-named counterpart.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    These nodding, imbricate yellow to yellowish-green flowers are 1/2" wide. There are 6-12 petals per flower and flowers have a faint, pleasant scent. They grow solitary at the axils, sometimes in groups of up to 3.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are olive green 2-4 inches long, and half as wide when mature. New foliage is a soft yellow-green. Leaves are alternate, simple, elliptical with a blunt point at the apex, cuneate, entire, and anise-scented. The veins are inconspicuous or difficult to see.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Lenticels
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth to coarse surface with sparse lenticels. Develops some fissures with old age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Buds:
    Scaly
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in more than 2 scales
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are green, glabrous, stout, and rounded. Buds are unique, medium-large, imbricate, and green. Has a tendency to form suckers at the base.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Heavy Shade
    Insect Pests
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Poisonous to humans and livestock if ingested. NOT a substitute for the star anise spice.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Seeds