Illicium anisatum L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Illicium anisatum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/illicium/illicium-anisatum/). Accessed 2024-04-12.

Synonyms

  • I. religiosum Sieb. & Zucc.

Glossary

acuminate
Narrowing gradually to a point.
apex
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
oblanceolate
Inversely lanceolate; broadest towards apex.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Illicium anisatum' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/illicium/illicium-anisatum/). Accessed 2024-04-12.

A shrub or small tree, the young branches of which are glabrous, green spotted with brown. Leaves 2 to 4 in. long, 34 to 1 in. wide, narrowly oval, blunt at the apex, tapering at the base to a short thick stalk. Flowers borne from March to May, about 1 in. across, shortly stalked, clustered in the leaf-axils, not fragrant. Petals narrow, numerous (up to thirty), pale greenish yellow. Bot. Mag., t. 3965.

Native of China and Japan; introduced in 1790. South of London it is moderately hardy in a sheltered position, growing slowly but steadily to a height of about 6 ft in the open, and flowering freely. In the milder parts it will attain twice that height or even more; at Trewidden in Cornwall it is 20 ft high.

The leaves and wood have a strong and agreeable fragrance. This shrub was long thought to be the ‘star anise’ of the Japanese and Chinese, but that tree is really quite a different species – I. verum Hook. f.

I. henryi Diels – A small tree in the wild. Leaves oblanceolate, 4 to 6 in. long, 1 to 2 in. wide, acuminate at the apex, tapered at the base to a stalk 12 to 34 in. long, fairly glossy above, leathery. Flowers fragrant, varying in colour on wild plants from pink to deep crimson (pink in the cultivated plants), solitary in the leaf-axils on stalks 1 to 112 in. long. Petals ovate or oblong-ovate, about twenty in number. Carpels eight to thirteen. A native of W. China, discovered by Augustine Henry; it was later collected by Wilson, but the origin of the plants now in cultivation is uncertain. It is hardy in woodland south of London, but slow-growing.


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