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ILLICIUM floridanum 'Southern Star'

Image of Illicium floridanum 'Southern Star'

James Burghardt

Family

Illiciaceae

Botanical Name

ILLICIUM floridanum 'Southern Star'

Plant Common Name

Florida Anise, Florida Anisetree, Southern Star Anisetree

General Description

Florida or purple anise is best known for its unusual summer flowers and fragrant, evergreen leaves. ‘Southern Star’ is a variegated selection grown for its mottled ivory and green leaves. This shrub or small tree is native to moist, wooded areas across the southeastern United States, from Florida to Louisiana. Mature specimens have upright branches and develop an open habit.

Its large, leathery leaves are elliptical to lance-shaped and have a delightful anise fragrance when crushed. The nodding flowers are usually hidden in foliage. Each interesting bloom has many narrow reddish maroon petals that are widely spaced and emits a distinctive, somewhat fishy aroma that many find unpleasant. The seedpod is star-shaped and not edible. There are several cultivars including plants with variegated leaves and white flowers.

Florida anise prefers fertile, moist soil and partial shade. It is slow growing and low maintenance when planted in the right place. Mulch well to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Use Florida anise in mixed, tall borders, woodland interfaces and near ponds and streams.

There are potential health concerns regarding this plant. To learn more go to http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/horticulture/H-00-056.pdf

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    5'-7' / 1.5m - 2.1m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Red, Dark Red

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Summer) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Bark Color

    Red, Green, Brown

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes