University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FPS-278

illicium parviflorum Anise1

Edward F. Gilman2

Introduction

This rapidly growing, large, evergreen, Florida native shrub has medium- to coarse-textured, olive green, leathery leaves and small, greenish-yellow flowers (Fig. 1). The many, slender, drooping branches of anise give a rounded, open canopy in the shade that is ideal for natural settings, or it can be pruned into dense hedges, screens, or windbreaks in sunny locations. Branches often root when they touch the ground and root sprouts appear several years after planting. This adds to the density of the shrub. The slightly fragrant spring flowers are followed by brown, star-shaped, many-seeded pods that cling to the stems. The leaves of anise give off a distinctive fragrance of licorice when bruised or crushed.

General Information

Scientific name: Illicium parviflorum
Pronunciation: ill-LISS-see-um par-vif-FLOR-um
Common name(s): anise
Family: Illiciaceae
Figure 1. 

Anise


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]
Plant type: tree
USDA hardiness zones: 7B through 10A (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 7: year round
Planting month for zone 8: year round
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]
Planting month for zone 10: year round
Origin: native to Florida
Uses: hedge; espalier; screen; foundation; border
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Description

Height: 15 to 20 feet
Spread: 10 to 15 feet
Plant habit: oval
Plant density: dense
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: undulate

Leaf shape: elliptic (oval)

Leaf venation: none, or difficult to see

Leaf type and persistence: fragrant

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: yellow
Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance; summer flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: irregular
Fruit length: .5 to 1 inch
Fruit cover: dry or hard
Fruit color: green
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically multi-trunked or clumping stems; can be trained to grow with a short, single trunk; not particularly showy
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay;
Drought tolerance: moderate
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches

Other

Roots: sprouts from roots or lower trunk
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Anise grows well in sun or shade but thins out in the shade. Anise appreciates rich soil and ample moisture but will easily survive harsher conditions. Anise is an easy-to-grow, pest-free shrub. Once established it will need watering only during long periods of drought and pruning once a year to maintain its shrub form. Plant on five- to seven-foot centers to establish an unpruned screen, closer for a tall clipped hedge. Allow plenty of room for this shrub. It grows too large for a residential foundation planting but can be pruned into a small, multi-stemmed tree.

Propagation is by cuttings or layering.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FPS-278, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date October 1999. Revised May 2007. Reviewed June 2011. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.