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Illicium parviflorum Floridata
A native to Japan and Korea now grown as a landscape plant in mild climate areas. The leathery leaves release a pleasant fragrance when crushed. Flowers appear in late spring or early summer. Illicium is Latin for allurement, referring to the anise odor that is released when stems and leaves are crushed. The spice member of the genus, I. Verum is the source of the spice called star anise used in many Chinese dishes, bakery goods and liqueurs. The plant is toxic! Do not ingest. It is not a substitute for the culinary spice obtained from Illiciaum vernum.