Illicium verum is commonly called the ‘Star Anise’ plant. An evergreen tree grown for the aromatic foliage and also the fruit which is dried and used as a spice.
Originally from China through to Vietnam, this is a medium sized tree that will reach around 5 metres (16ft) in height with a canopy that will spread to 3 – 4 metres. It is also possible to use Illicium verum as a hedging plant as it take well to pruning.
Used as a fragrant hedge, plant Illicium verum at around .8 to 1 metre apart.This is a reasonably fast growing tree, and the joy of pruning is that it will release that wonderful Star Anise fragrance.
Best suited to full sun in cooler zones and part shade in warmer areas. This is not a plant that tolerates frost.
As a spice, the dried fruits are used in a range of cuisines and are excellent when used for stuffing duck. Chinese 5 spice uses this sweet spice as one ingredient.
How to Grow the Star Anise Plant.
This is a tropical to subtropical plant, however it will grow well in more temperate climates.
In areas subject to frosts, try growing this plant in a container so it can be protected.
- Growing Position : Best grown in a warm position in dappled afternoon shade. Protect from cold and drying winds.
- Soil : A humus rich, well drained soil is best. The growing medium needs to be moist yet not wet and soggy.
- Fertiliser and Mulch : Mulch around the plant to maintain a cool moist root run. Each spring apply a good layer of aged cow manure and renew the mulch.
- Pruning : Is grown as a tree, little to no pruning will be required. As a hedge or to maintain a smaller bushy habit, regular tip pruning is recommended.
- Harvesting Star Anise : These a tree that can take 4 – 7 years to produce fruits. Pick the fruit whilst green and then allow them to dry naturally in the sun.
Other Varieties : Illicium anisatum and other varieties are poisonous.
The Star Anise Plant is available for sale from the following Nurseries
82 David Hill Rd Monbulk (Opposite Vika Ave)
Japanese Maple and Magnolia specialists, Wholesale and Retail. Large range of other deciduous and evergreen ornamental trees and shrubs.