Illicium floridanum

Common Name: Florida anise tree 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Schisandraceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States, northern Mexico
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Dark red
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: 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 soils in part shade to full shade. Tolerates full sun as long as soils are kept uniformly moist. Spreads by root suckers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Illicium floridanum, commonly called purple anise, is an upright, rounded, aromatic, evergreen shrub that grows to 6-10' tall. It is native to wet soils in low hammocks, wooded ravines, marshy areas and stream peripheries from northern Florida and Georgia along the coastal plain to Louisiana. Smooth, glossy, elliptic, dark olive-green leaves (to 6" long) emit an anise-like aroma when crushed. Nodding, dark red flowers (to 2" diameter), each with 20-30 strap-shaped petals, bloom in spring (April-May). Flower aroma is malodorous. Fruit is a star-shaped cluster of follicles. Purple anise 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 of Florida.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Evergreen shrub for moist shady locations.