Small-flowered Anise Tree, Yellow Anise, Star Anise

Illicium parviflorum

Family: Illiciaceae
Genus: Illicium (il-LISS-ee-um) (Info)
Species: parviflorum (par-VEE-flor-um) (Info)
Synonym:Badianifera parviflora
Synonym:Cymbostemon parviflorus




Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage



Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Mobile, Alabama

Fort Mc Coy, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lake City, Florida

Navarre, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Webster, Florida

Decatur, Georgia

Lula, Georgia

Statesboro, Georgia

Thomasville, Georgia

Centreville, Maryland

Florence, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Roanoke, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 26, 2013, longjonsilverz from Centreville, MD wrote:

This plant remains fully evergreen in all but the worst of winter that Eastern Maryland has offered, it defoliates a little in extreme cold, (around 5F) but quickly recovers in the spring. In full sun it tends to have a light green/yellowish color. The small flowers are not very noticeable, but the tropical look and evergreen foliage make it a good choice. It has been an excellent low maintenance addition to my landscape.


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

Has survived 2 winters here (including "Snowmaggedon") in Roanoke, VA against a south-facing retaining wall in full sun. Very pretty form, has grown perhaps 3-4" in 2 years.


On May 15, 2009, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

One flourishes just behind a low wall in the Herb Garden at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. It is in full blazing sun and is around 10 feet high and 8 feet wide and gets some watering.


On Dec 3, 2008, donnacreation from Sumter, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

A nice looking evergreen shrub/small tree that grows well in central SC. I have a few planted in a low lying, damp area alongside young live oaks, palmettos, dwarf palmettos, needle, and windmill palms for a cold hardy, but tropical appearance. Grows well in full sun to partial shade.


On Feb 22, 2005, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although the native stands of Illicium parviflorum are restricted to the dense shade of mucky, swampy areas (often with the palm Rhapidophyllum hystrix), in a small region of central Florida, it is not nearly as particular as a landscape plant. It seems to do fine in well-drained soils, even in full sun, although I have seen many in these situations where the leaf color is yellow-green, rather than the dark green of plants in their natural habitat. In some areas it is growing fine around commerical buildings and in parking lots where it seems to be totally neglected!


On Feb 21, 2005, Missyinbama from Wetumpka, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

After some trial and error with locating some of these plants, I have found the most success with the moist well-drained locations that have afternoon shade. This site is approximately 1/2-3/4 mi from a swampy area, but does not flood.


On Feb 20, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a small to medium tree (or shrub) that is endemic to several adjacent counties in central to east-central to north-central Florida. Due to habitat destruction, this Florida native is listed as endangered by the state of Florida.

It is named after the plant's small yellow or anise flowers.

Synonyms are Badianifera parviflora (Michx. ex Vent.)Kuntze and Cymbostemon parviflorus (Michx. ex Vent.)Spach.

The plant is useful for some wildlife and may attract some pollinating insects.


On Feb 20, 2005, Irvsk from Dunnellon, FL wrote:

Because this plant requires an abundance of water, or so I've been told, I packed a lot of peat moss around the root ball. I'm also watering it daily. I am watching it to see if it flourishes or barely survives. I started this on 2-20-05.


On Jun 11, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Endemic to FL & endangered