Illicium spp.

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Name and publication

Illicium verum Hook. f., Bot. Mag. 114: t. 7005 (1888).

Description

Illicium fruits show up in potpourri, and they are most probably I. verum, the Chinese star-anise, but there is some admixture with the poisonous I. anisatum L. (I. religiosum Siebold & Zucc.), the Japanese star-anise. These pinwheel-shaped whorls of woody, dehiscent follicles, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter, are anise-scented upon crushing. The fruits of Japanese star-anise are somewhat smaller, more compact, and more shrunken but otherwise extremely difficult to identify by morphology alone.

Nativity and distribution

Illicium verum is native to China and Vietnam.

Family

Illiciaceae