Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zones 4-9, 14-24
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Ample Water
All parts of Illicium anisatum are poisonous if ingested


Anise tree

Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Little-used but attractive clan of shrubs or small trees noted for thick, leathery, glossy leaves (anise scented when crushed) and spring flowers with many petal-like segments reminiscent of small magnolia blossoms. Fruits that follow are small, one-sided pods arranged in a ring.Though related to the star anise (I. verum) of Chinese cookery, these species are inedible. All like rich soil with abundant organic material. Big, bold foliagegives the impression of rhododendrons. Seldom need pruning.

Illicium mexicanum, photo courtesy of Richard Shiell
Illicium mexicanum, photo courtesy of Richard Shiell

Click to Enlarge

Illicium mexicanum

Native to northernMexico. To 4 ft. tall andwide. Narrowly oval, pointed leaves are medium green with red stems. Reddish pink flowers, to 2 in. across, are produced mainly in spring, with some repeat bloom through summer.

You Might Also Like...

Carex oshimensis 'Evergold'

Unbeatable choice for edging and mass planting as a ground cover; from the Sunset Western Garden Coll...

Dendromecon rigida

Native to dry chaparral in lower elevations in California. Untidy growing wild. Freely branched shrub ...

Magnolia stellata 'Dawn'

Has whiteflowers with 25 or more segments,each with a longitudinalpink stripe.

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More