Illicium Species, Florida Anise, Red Magnolia

Illicium floridanum

Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium (il-LISS-ee-um) (Info)
Species: floridanum (flor-ih-DAY-num) (Info)
Synonym:Badianifera floridana
Synonym:Illicium mexicanum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chunchula, Alabama

Pelham, Alabama

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Stockton, Alabama

Wilmington, Delaware

Auburndale, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Navarre, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Quincy, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia (2 reports)

Decatur, Georgia

Mandeville, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Centreville, Maryland

Brooklyn, Mississippi

Carriere, Mississippi

Meridian, Mississippi

Saucier, Mississippi

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Brooklyn, New York

Oyster Bay, New York

Portland, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

West Columbia, South Carolina

Houston, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Roanoke, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 16, 2018, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

Very underutilized and rare FL native species that makes a good evergreen shrub for shade. I grow mine on North side of house underneath a deciduous crepe myrtle. Foliage is fragrant/toxic and should not have deer issues.

This and other Star Anises are modern day relatives of some of the very first flowering plants of the Cretaceous period, similar to Magnolias.
NOT edible. Only the Chinese species is edible.


On Dec 8, 2016, RustyB from Mandeville, LA wrote:

I have several in my garden and for the most part they have done well. However they do have a habit of "dying back". Every autumn a branch or two, sometimes large branches, die for no apparent reason. Almost like self pruning.They all do it, not just one plant.
Anyone else experience that?


On Sep 29, 2015, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant died for me in fairly deep shade, in our clayish soil several blocks from the bank of the Mississippi River. I watered it quite a bit, perhaps too much? I will try it again someday in a slightly brighter spot, with more acidic soil. For me, Illicium parviflorum has done way better, and is one of my favorite native plants, period.


On May 20, 2014, longjonsilverz from Centreville, MD wrote:

This plant thrives here in Eastern Maryland. Apart from the strange smell of the flowers, these are an excellent choice for landscape. The last 2 winters (2014-15) were the coldest winters in many years for this area and my Florida Anise's showed no cold damage at all. Temperatures were close to 0F during many nights and wind chills as low as -30F. These are much hardier than my Yellow Anise trees (Illicium parviflorum) which mostly defoliated by the end of winter, but recovered in spring.

The red flowers are a nice contrast to the dark green leaves when grown in the shade. There is a hybrid called "woodland ruby" which is apparently crossed with the similar Mexican Anise which has extended flowering time and larger, brighter red flowers. It did nearly as good with t... read more


On Dec 29, 2013, Mary_blessed from Locust Grove, GA wrote:

I have Mexican Anise planted in an area where it gets morning sun. Grows great in this area with the ones getting more sun, growing less. My dilemma is that I would like to move them (3 plants). Although the blooms are pretty, I don't care for the "fragrance" and they are near an area we sit at often. I have an area that is 90% sun, near very large and tall Leland cypress that I am considering moving them to. What can anyone tell me about their experience with the Mexican Anise. I don't want to totally lose them, but would like to move them. My shaded areas are limited. If it were not for the unpleasant fragrance, I would be okay with them there. According to what I read, they have a pleasant fragrance, but not the case with mine. If I don't move them, do I need to amend the ... read more


On Aug 31, 2012, Ronnie_Irby from Meridian, MS wrote:

This tree grows naturally on my property located near Energy, Mississippi along a creek known as Irby Mill Creek in Clarke County. The information on this plant/tree that I have read is incomplete as the references all seem to state the maximum tree height is about 25 feet. Not true, for there are many trees in the very large "grove" on Irby Mill Creek that far exceed 50 feet tall. These mother plants sprout trees from the roots as one means of propagation, and also seedlings sprout from seeds. There are thousands of these sprouts/trees along the creek, and they are everywhere on the 5+ acre portion of my property through the creek flows, growing at a sea-level elevation of 300- 400 ft.

Who wants to buy them?


On Nov 3, 2010, Centaurea from Almere,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Has survived 2 winters here in Roanoke, VA, zone 6b/7a (including "Snowmageddon") against a south-facing retaining wall in part-shade under an azalea perched atop the wall (mid-day shade) with no protection other than mulch. Very pretty little shrub.


On Aug 4, 2004, psychloman from Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is probably the most perfect, elegant shrub I own. I've had it for about five years now and every April it's hung with little red star shaped flowers. The growth habit is globe shaped but not dense. This shrub has perfect poise. I garden in Brooklyn, new York.


On Aug 31, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Anise Trees are a little-known group of evergreen shrubs and trees. Their thick, glossy foliage emits an anise-scent when bruised.

I. flordanum is native to Florida and Louisiana; its maroon flowers are heavily scented, and most find it unpleasant.