Illicium

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For the modified first spine anatomical feature of anglerfishes, see illicium (fish anatomy).
anisetree
or star anise
Illicium verum in HDR.jpg
fruits of star anise (Illicium verum)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
Order: Austrobaileyales
Family: Schisandraceae
Genus: Illicium
L.

Illicium is a genus of flowering plants treated as part of the family Schisandraceae,[1] or alternately as the sole genus of the Illiciaceae.[2] It is has a disjunct distribution, with most species native to eastern Asia and several in parts of North America, including the southeastern United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.[3] General common names include star-anise[4] and anisetree.[1] The genus name comes from the Latin illicere ("to allure").[4]

Description[edit]

Illicium are evergreen shrubs and small trees. The leaves are alternately arranged and borne on petioles. The blades are glandular and fragrant. The flowers are solitary. They have few to many tepals in two or three rows, the inner ones like petals and the outer ones often smaller and more like bracts. There are few to many stamens and pistils at the center. The fruit is an aggregate of follicles arranged in a star-shaped whorl. There is one seed in each follicle, released when the follicle dehisces. The seed has a thick, oily endosperm.[5]

Biology[edit]

These are plants of moist understory. They are adapted to shady habitat, and some species are so sensitive to light radiation that too much sunlight causes them significant stress, manifesting in chlorosis and necrosis of the leaves.[6]

Uses[edit]

Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants for their flowers, foliage, and fragrance. Several cultivars have been developed.[7] Because of their ecological requirements, many taxa can only be grown in low-light situations.[6]

The essential oils of several species are used as flavorings and carminatives; however, the oil of I. anisatum is toxic. I. verum, the common star-anise, is used to flavor food and wine. Its fruit is a traditional Chinese medicine called pa-chio-hui-hsiang, which is used to treat abdominal pain and vomiting.[5]

Diversity[edit]

Accepted species[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Illicium. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
  2. ^ Watson, L. and M. J. Dallwitz. 1992 onwards. Illiciaceae Van Tiegh. The Families of Flowering Plants. Version: 19 August 2013.
  3. ^ Oh, I. C., et al. (2003). Evolution of Illicium (Illiciaceae): mapping morphological characters on the molecular tree. Plant Systematics and Evolution 240(1-4), 175-209.
  4. ^ a b Illicium. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ a b Illiciaceae. Flora of North America.
  6. ^ a b Griffin, J. J., et al. (2004). Photosynthesis, chlorophyll fluorescence, and carbohydrate content of Illicium taxa grown under varied irradiance. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 129(1), 46-53.
  7. ^ Ashburn, D. Illicium belongs in Southern gardens. Cooperative Extension. North Carolina State University. 2006.
  8. ^ The Plant List, search for Illicium
  9. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution map, Illicium floridanum
  10. ^ Biota of North America Program, 2013 county distribution map, Illicium parviflorum

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]