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Common Name: Aniseed Tree
Illicium floridanum is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 2.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Although no mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, at least one other member of the genus has a fruit that is poisonous in quantity[
South-eastern N. America - Florida to Louisiana.
Lowland wet areas, often in sandy soils along streams, swamps and at the head of bays[
], in light woodland and thickets[
Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position[
] Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil[
]. A plant of woodland shade in its native habitat, in the less sunny British climate it succeeds in sun or semi-shade[
This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c, only succeeding outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain[
A slow-growing tree[
], the whole plant is very aromatic[
]. The bruised leaves have a strong scent of aniseed, whilst the flowers have a powerful spicy odour[
Suckers can spring up at some distance from the parent plant[
Said to be used as a spice[
]. No further details are given, but the leaves have a strong aroma of aniseed[
Seed - it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two.
Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame[
]. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts.
Suckers are sometimes produced at some distance from the parent plant. These suckers can be potted up in early spring, then grown on for a year before planting them out into their permanent positions.