Florida Anise Tree - Illicium floridanum
Member of one of the oldest plant families on Earth, Florida Anise often has multiple stems, but may reach tree size (26 feet) with a rounded crown. This is a species of restricted range, most common in Mississippi, and reaching northwestern Florida. The trunk is crooked and small, and the thin bark develops fissures as it ages. The alternate leaves are evergreen, broad in the middle, and up to 4 inches in length; they are often clustered near the tips of the branches and are pungent when crushed. The striking flowers are dark red, solitary, and borne on a long stalk. There are many petals and a few sepals, indistguishable from each other. The fruit is star-shaped with 10-15 rays.