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Friday, Nov 28, 2014
Lifestyle Stories

What’s Blooming in the Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden?

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Florida Anise Tree, Floida Anise

Illicium Floridanum

This evergreen, native shrub/tree can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet and a spread of 6 to 10 feet. It grows quickly and performs well in part sun and part shade. If grown in the sun, it can be pruned into a thick hedge or used as a windbreak. If grown in the shade, the branches droop to the ground, resulting in a rounded canopy but thinned-out appearance.

Florida anise tolerates acidic and slightly alkaline soil and soil texture that is sand, clay or loam. It has moderate drought tolerance and poor salt tolerance. It’s easy to grow and is pest free.

This plant can be pruned so it forms single or multiple trunks. It produces small, maroon flowers in the spring and star-shaped seed pods in later summer to fall. One of the things I like best about it is the anise smell when the leaves are broken or crushed. Propagation is from cuttings and layering.

This plant is great as a hedge, espalier, screening and foundation or border. It can also be grown in containers.

For information about Florida anise, please see the University of Florida publication “Illicium Floridanum Florida Anise Tree, Florida Anise” by Edward F. Gilman, from which this article was adapted at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FP/FP27700.pdf.

We hope you can stop by to see our Florida anise in the Wildlife Habitat Garden in our courtyard.

- Lynn Barber

The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden is one of several demonstration gardens at the UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner.

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