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Plant Informational Database

Star Anise

Ilicium verum

a.k.a. Ba Jiao Hui Xian

Beautiful fruiting ornamental yielding the star anise, a spice commonly used in Asian cuisine.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.

Description

A small tree to 15ft. It is related to the magnolia's and like its cousins, has pretty flowers and aromatic essential oils.

Hardiness

Hardy to the lower 20's (F). Sunset Zones: 14+ USDA: 8+

Growing Environment

Will grow well both in full sun or part shade. Also does very well in light, well-drained soil. Needs moist soil.

Propagation

By seeds.

Uses

Dried fruits are used as a spice to flavor curries, teas, and many other foods. It is also one of the ingredients in the traditional Chinese five-spice powder. The fruits are sometimes eaten alone as a breath freshener. The fruits also have a variety of alleged medicinal benefits. The leaves have an anise-like smell. Care should be taken as ingestion of large quantities of the fruits is said to be poisonous. Recently the star anise has become known as the source of shikimic acid, a primary ingredient of the pharmaceutical Tamiflu, an anti-influenza drug.

Native Range

Native to China and Vietnam.

Related Species

Iliaceae  
Ilicium verum
Star Anise