Ocala Anise - Cherrylake

Ocala Anise

Illicium parviflorum

The Ocala Anise is a low maintenance, evergreen native to Central Florida. With mature heights up to 15 feet, Ocala Anise are generally considered large shrubs or small trees. They are well suited for creating borders or as single specimens in smaller landscapes.

Ocala Anise’s long, ellipse shaped leaves vary from a dark, lush green if grown in the shade, to a sunny yellow tone if grown in full sunlight. It’s important to note that the plant will need to be watered more often if grown in full sun, but is moderately drought resistant.

As the name suggests, the Ocala Anise is a member of the same family of plants that produces the spice, “star anise”, and its leaves produce a sweet, licorice-y scent when crushed. The seed pods of the Ocala Anise look very similar to the aforementioned spice, but are not edible. Ocala Anise flowers are inconspicuous, bell shaped, and a light buttery yelow.

If allowed to grow on its own, the Ocala Anise will take on a pyramidal shape, but can easily be pruned into formal hedges or limbed up as a small multi-trunked tree.

Ocala Anise grown in pot

Ornamental Characteristics:

Native Origin:
Florida, North America

Common Names:
Yellow Anise, Yellow Anisetree, Star Anise, Florida Sunshine

Hardy Range: 7 – 10
Mature Height: 10 – 15’
Mature Spread: 6 – 10’
Growth Rate: moderate
Texture: medium
Density: dense

Ornamental Characteristics:
Light, yellow-green, elongated oval leaves which produce a licorice-like aroma when crushed. Flowers from May to June, but blooms are insignificant. Fruit is showy, multi-pointed, and star shaped. Multi-trunk structure with a moderate growth rate.

Soil: acidic, slightly alkaline, sand, loam, clay
Salt: low
Exposure: full sun, partial shade, or full shade

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Ocala Anise in the landscape
Ocala Anise Foliage
Ocala Anise Flowers