Florida anise (Illicium floridanum) is one of the South's most dependable broad-leaved evergreen shrubs. Glossy but leathery dark green leaves 2 to 6 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide adorn the tree year-round. A sniff of the leaves reveals a pleasant anise scent that tempts the passerby to tear a leaf in order to enjoy the spicy aroma.
shrub border, small tree
Plant Florida anise in shade to partial shade in well-drained, moist, acid soil. Soil high in organic matter is preferred. If your soil is either extremely sandy or clayey, adding organic matter to the entire area where the shrubs are to be planted will be beneficial. Fertilize in spring as growth begins with an all-purpose fertilizer and mulch well to maintain moisture and boost the organic content of the soil. Few pests attack this native shrub. If desired, the shrub can be trained into a small tree by removing some of the lower limbs. For a more rounded, shrublike form, tip prune to encourage branching, especially when young. If a hedge is desired, plant on 10-foot centers for compactness. In a mixed shrub border, allow about 15 feet between Florida anise and other shrubs to maintain the individuality of each specimen. Florida anise fits well into naturalistic landscapes in damp, shady areas.
10 to 15 feet tall and about 6 to 10 feet wide