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Illicium floridanum (Florida anisetree)
Cressler, Alan

Illicium floridanum

Illicium floridanum Ellis

Florida anisetree, Florida anise, Anise tree, Stinkbush

Illiciaceae (Star-Anise Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Florida anisetree is much-branched, upright broadleaf evergreen shrub, 6-10 ft. high, with a compact outline. Large, lance-shaped, evergreen leaves are lustrous, dark-green above, pale beneath and very aromatic when bruised. Maroon-purple flowers occur singly and are composed of 20-30 strap-like petals. Dehiscent seed follicles, arranged in whorls, have a star-like appearance.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS
Native Distribution: FL to e. LA
Native Habitat: Moist, wooded ravines; seepage areas; swamp margins

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: This plant requires pruning in early years to keep in shape. No serious disease or insect pests. The entire shrub has a strong, pungent odor. It sometimes self-sows.


Description: Seeds germinate easily. Firm-wooded cuttings root well.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Research Literature

Reslit 534 - Photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, and carbohydrate content of Illicium taxa grown under varied irradiance (2004) J. J. Griffin, T. G. Ranney and D. M. Pharr
Reslit 400 - The flowers in extant basal angiosperms and inferences on ancestral flowers (2001) P. K. Endress
Reslit 766 - The causes of self-sterility in natural populations of the relictual angiosperm, Illicium floridanum (Illiciaceae) (2004) V. Koehl, L. B. Thien, E. G. Heij and T. L. Sage
Reslit 1025 - Photosynthetic responses of container-grown Illicium L. taxa to sun and shade (2002) R. T. Olsen, J. M. Ruter and M. W. Rieger
Reslit 1110 - Organic Matter Application Improves Posttransplant Root Growth of Three Native Woody Shrubs (2009) J. G. Price, A. N. Wright, K. M. Tilt and R. L. Bo...
Reslit 1168 - Floral ontogeny of Illicium floridanum, with emphasis on stamen and carpel development (1979) R. E. Robertson and S. C. Tucker
Reslit 1384 - Pollination biology of basal angiosperms (ANITA grade) (2009) L. B. Thien, P. Bernhardt, M. S. Devall, Z. D. Che...
Reslit 1385 - The reproductive biology of a relict Illicium floridanum Ellis (1983) L. B. Thien, D. A. White and L. Y. Yatsu
Reslit 1515 - Functional syncarpy by intercarpellary growth of pollen tubes in a primitive apocarpous angiosperm, Illicium floridanum (Illiciaceae) (1993) E. G. Williams, T. L. Sage and L. B. Thien

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1998 VOL. 15, NO.5 - Native Shrubs Providing Landscape Heritage and Habitat, Executive Director\'s Re...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Illicium floridanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Illicium floridanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Illicium floridanum


Record Modified: 2014-11-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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