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September Plant of the Month -
Illicium parviflorum 'Florida Sunshine'
-gold leaf anise
by Adrienne Roethling,
Director of Curation and Mission Delivery
Illicium parviflorum goes by many common names such as yellow anise tree, swamp star anise, Ocala anise or small anise. Plants can be found growing natively in Florida and throughout the southeast. Populations in their native habitat are declining, but thanks to several nurseries, anise tree can be placed back into our gardens.
Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’ was introduced by plantsmen Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC. Since 2000, this gold leaf evergreen anise has surpassed all expectations with clear chartreuse leaves, good form and deer resistance. Grow Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’ in part shade to avoid sun scorch. Small, yellow flowers in early spring are borne in the leaf axil but are hidden among the leaves. Fragrant leaves give off a licorice like odor. Expect plants to reach maturity in a few years growing to 7-10 feet tall and half as wide. Plants take on red stalks in winter months.
Join or renew your membership for the month of September and your name will be included in a drawing for a pot of Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’.