Evergreen, Shrubs, 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 foliage gives the impression of rhododendrons. Seldom need pruning.Illicium mexicanum
Native to northern Mexico. Grows to 4 ft. tall and wide. 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.
‘William Hertrich’ has very large, semidouble, deep red flowers with heavy petals.
Though its small white flowers are nearly hidden among waxy evergreen leaves, Sarcococca’s
‘Mandalay Queen’ has very large semidouble pink flowers with fluted petals.