Several Illicium species are hardy in the Southeast US. Commonly called anise shrubs, these ornamental perennials are evergreen shrubs or small trees with thick, shiny, leathery leaves that smell like licorice when crushed.
More Information About Illicium
The genus Illicium (Anise Shrub) contains just over 40 species of shrubs and trees some of which have licorice-scented foliage. While fruits of one species, Illicium verum, are known as star anise and are used in cooking, fruits of other illicium species are toxic.
Tips for Growing Anise Shrub (Illicium)
Several Illicium species (I. parviflorum, I. floridanum, I anisatum, I. henryi) are hardy in the Southeast US. These ornamental illicium are evergreen shrubs or small trees with thick, shiny, leathery leaves that smell like licorice when crushed. Illicium floridanum also features small but attractive red flowers. Anise shrubs prefer partial sun, aren't picky about soil types, and are very drought tolerant once established. We have selected some special foliage types to offer.