Botanical Name : Illicium anisatum
Species: I. anisatum
*Illicium japonicum Sieb.
*Illicium religiosum Sieb. et
Habitat : Illicium anisatum is native to E. Asia – S. China, Japan, Taiwan. It grows in the thickets and woods in foothills, S. and C. Japan.
Illicium anisatum is an evergreen Shrub. It is an upright, rounded, bushy shrub or small tree that attains a height of 10 to 15 feet . The foliage of this plant is exceptional. In contrast to Illicium parviflorum and Illicium floridanum, the evergreen leaves of Illicium anisatum are a lustrous medium to dark green color with undulate margins. All anise leaves smell a little like root beer when they are crushed. Leaves of anise tree are generally 2 to 4 inches long, a little smaller than those on the other two species. Many yellowish-white or greenish-white flowers, with up to 30 petals, are produced in spring. These axillary flowers are star-shaped and have no fragrance, but can be showy if you are close to the plant. They are produced in abundance in some years. The fruits of the anise tree are star-shaped follicles that eventually release dark brown seeds………..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURE
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
Bloom Color: White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Oval
Landscape Uses:Border, Pest tolerant, Massing, Screen, Woodland garden. Prefers a light, moist well-drained loam and a sheltered position. Prefers a humus-rich lime-free soil. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade. A slow-growing plant. This species is not very cold-hardy, it tolerates temperatures down to about -10°c but normally requires the protection of a wall in most of Britain. It succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Star anise is a very ornamental and aromatic plant that is much planted near Buddhist shrines and temples in Japan. The plants have the scent of anise. All parts of the plant are pleasingly aromatic. The leaves release a powerful aromatic odour when touched and the flowers have a spicy odour. Plants seldom grow larger than about 2 metres in Britain, but are often 10 metres tall in their native habitat. Special Features: Attracts birds, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Seed – it does not require pre-treatment and can be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold over the winter for the first year or two. Layering in early spring. Takes 18 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, August in a frame. Pot up the cuttings when they start to root and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out after the last expected frosts
Edible Uses:…. Condiment……The fruit is used as a flavouring and is also chewed after meals in order to sweeten the breath. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter. Some caution is advised because it is said to be poisonous in quantity.
Diuretic, odontalgic, stimulant. The fruit is carminative, stimulant and stomachic. It is used primarily to promote digestion and the appetite, and to relieve flatulence. It also makes a good additive to other medicines to improve their taste. The leaves and the seeds are antibacterial
It has been burned as incense in Japan, where it is known as shikimi . Cases of illness, including serious neurological effects such as seizures, reported after using star anise tea may be a result of using this species.
Known Hazards: The essential oil obtained from this plant is poisonous. The fruit is poisonous in quantity. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, shikimin, and sikimitoxin, which cause severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract, and digestive organs. Other compounds present in toxic species of Illicium are safrole and eugenol, which are not present in I. verum and are used to identify its adulteration. Shikim Illiciumi gave its name to shikimic acid, a substance also present in the plant.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.