Illicium parviflorum 'Florence'

Common Name: small anise tree 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Schisandraceae
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 9.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant, Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Heavy Shade, Erosion, Wet Soil


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10 where it is easily grown in moist, rich soils in part shade to full shade. Tolerates full sun as long as soils are kept uniformly moist. Established plants tolerate some drought, but prefer good moisture. Branches may root where they touch the ground. Spreads by root suckers to form colonies.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Illicium parviflorum, commonly called yellow anise tree or small anise tree, is an upright, rounded, suckering, evergreen shrub or small tree that grows to 10-15' tall and spreads to 6-10' wide. It is endemic to central Florida where it grows in moist woods and swamps. Shiny, elliptic, olive-green leaves (to 4" long) emit an anise-like aroma when crushed. Insignificant yellow-green flowers (to 1/2" diameter) bloom from the leaf axils in late spring (May-June). Fruit is a star-shaped cluster of follicles. Yellow anise tree is protected in Florida as a threatened species.

Genus name comes from the Latin name illicium meaning allurement or inducement from the enticing aromatic scent.

Specific epithet means small flowers.

'Florence' was found at Superior Trees, Inc. of Lee, Florida and was named for Florence Webb, one of the nursery’s owners, by Bob McCartney of Woodlanders Nursery of Aiken, South Carolina. It has olive green leaves with yellow or white speckled variegation and small, yellow, bell-shaped flowers in summer. ‘Florence’ grows 6 to 8 ft. tall and 6 to 9 ft. wide, although it may be much smaller due to the reduced chlorophyll in its leaves, especially in heavy shade.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Evergreen shrub which can be naturalized in moist shady landscape areas or woodlands. Borders. Foundations. Screen. Hedge.