Florida Anise: Evergreen, Drought Tolerant, Deer Resistant!
One of my favorite native shrubs is Florida Anise. Illicium floridanum actually makes a tree about 10 feet tall.
The evergreen leaves are dark and shiny. Very unusual red flowers appear in spring and have star-like petals. Once flowers fade, large star-shaped seed pods develop--very unusual.
Drought tolerant once established, Florida Anise is a good choice for the southern garden. Native to Florida and Louisiana, Illicium Floridanum is too tender for northern gardens as it is hardy in USDA Zones 7-10 only.
Plant in partial shade. Enjoys wet soil, if you have some, and can take more sun if planted in a boggy area.
If you find one growing in the wild, do not dig it up to move it to your garden since Florida Anise is a threatened native species.
Illicium floridanum is not the culinary Anise used as a spice--Florida Anise is poisonous if ingested, which is why deer won't eat it.
Enjoying the same growing conditions as azaleas, camellias, and gardenias, Florida Anise is a good companion for them.If you've been searching for something a little less common than a camellia or gardenia, Florida Anise is perfect.