Woody Plant Profile: Illicium floridanum

By: Paul Millar

Features: Illicium floridanum is both deer tolerant as well as tolerant of excessive moisture. In addition, this specimen provides beautiful maroon flowers in the spring and fragrant evergreen leaves throughout the year12. When crushed, its attractive, dark green leaves emit an attractive anise-like odor that can help to offset the malodorous flowers12. In addition, it is a native and is protected in Florida as a threatened species17,12.

Siting: Illicium floridanum should be placed in part to heavy shade8. Soil should be moist, well drained with a high organic matter content8. It would be a great specimen to fill moist, shady corners of landscapes or incorporated into shrub borders8.

Care: Plant so root flare is visible at soil surface14. At planting, water the root ball daily with two gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter for two weeks, every other day for two months and then weekly until established. Modify water recommendations to reflect site drainage and rainfall. Apply 3” of mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the trunk14. Make sure to maintain moist soil8. Requires pruning in early years to maintain shape8.

Pests: No serious pests or diseases8. Leaves contain compounds that are toxic to and/or repel insects8.

This plant does not appear on the following invasive plant lists on (Nov-10-2018):

USDA SC Invasive Plant Species Web site at http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml

SC Exotic Plant Pest Council Web site at http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina/

Sources may be viewed at the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Garden Web page: https://www.clemson.edu/cafls/demo/sources.html

Paul Millar is a student in Dr. Vincent’s HORT 3080 Sustainable Landscape Garden Design, Installation and Maintenance class. He is a horticulture major at Clemson University and his hometown is Charleston, SC.


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