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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 Symbol: ilfl

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.


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Aggregate , Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Rarely white or pink.


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.
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
First United Methodist Church of Jefferson City - Jefferson City, TN
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

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

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.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

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: 2023-04-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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