Illicium parviflorum Michx. ex Vent.

Small Anise-tree, Swamp Star Anise, Yellow Anise-tree



Family: Schisandraceae

Genus: Illicium

Category: Shrub - Evergreen

Zones: 6 to 10

Size: 7 to 10' tall, 8 to 10' wide

Growth Rate: Moderate

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade, Shade


Flowers in late spring, greenish yellow and not particularly showy. Star-shaped seed capsule, 1" diameter. Leaves are dark green, lighter in full sun, to 5" long and 2" wide. Upright pyramidal shrub. Suckers. Will tolerate heavy clay. Prune to keep in bounds. Large foliage mass or screen (plant 5' apart).


'Florida Sunshine' - bright chartreuse gold foliage in spring and summer turning to yellow in autumn as the stems turn red - needs filtered shade to prevent leaf scorch in winter - introduced by Tony Avent - 5' tall and 3' wide in 7 years


Native to the southeastern US.

First published in Tabl. Regn. Vég. 3: 71 in 1799.


My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant from Nurseries Caroliniana in October 2009 and planted it on the right property line in full sun. It has grown well. No foliage damage from temperatures in the 13 to 15F range.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner