Ocala Yellow Anise



Botanical Name:  Illicium parviflorum

Common Name:  Ocala Yellow Anise, Hardy Anise Shrub, Ocala Anise, Small Anise Tree, Yellow Anise Tree

Description:  Ocala Yellow Anise is an evergreen shrub to small tree found in mesic hammocks, bluffs, ravines, and seepage swamps. It is endemic to only these seven Central Florida counties: Marion, Volusia, Seminole, Lake, Orange, Polk and Osceola. Its dense evergreen foliage provides cover for birds and other wildlife. They are pollinated by bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The common name refers to the licorice scent of its leaves when brushed or crushed. It has small, 1.5″ wide, but very unique yellow flowers that are yellowish-green, have 6 to 12 petals, and are lightly fragrant. The plant should be grown in part sun, part shade, or full shade. The more sun it’s in, the more water it needs. The leaves will also turn more yellow in a lot of sun. I would highly suggest not planting it in full sun. It is moderately drought tolerant and can tolerate a range of soil types but prefers moist but well-drained soil. It has a vigorous growth rate, is easy to grow, and reaches 15 – 20′ tall x 10 – 15′ wide with a clumping growth habit. It blooms from May to June and may sucker to form colonies. It does not change color in the fall. The new leaves are soft yellow-green, and adult leaves are olive green and 2 to 4 inches long. Likes to grow in either clay, loam, or sandy soils. Good plant for your rain garden. Plant this shrub as a screen, a hedge, or along the back of a border. It makes an excellent addition to a woodland garden. This plant is particularly resistant to damage by deer.

Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.

This plant in 3-gallon containers is 2-3′ tall.

This plant in 7-gallon containers is 3-5′ tall.

This plant in 15-gallon containers is 5-6′ tall.

Plant Lore:  The fruits, leaves, and seeds are poisonous to humans, pets, and livestock if eaten, so add it to your Poison Garden. This is NOT a substitute for the star anise spice. All species and cultivars of Illicium, except for I. verum (Chinese Star Anise), have varying levels of toxicity. The bark is a source of anise oil, and the roots may be used like sassafras. The genus Illicium is from the Latin illicio, or “entice.” The species epithet parviflorum is from the Latin parvus, meaning “small,” and flös (flöris), or “flower.”

Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10


Additional information

Container Size

15-gallon, 3-gallon, 7-gallon


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