|fruits of star anise (Illicium verum)|
42, see text
Illicium is a genus of flowering plants treated as part of the family Schisandraceae, or alternately as the sole genus of the Illiciaceae. 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. General common names include star-anise and anisetree. The genus name comes from the Latin illicere ("to allure").
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.
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.
Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants for their flowers, foliage, and fragrance. Several cultivars have been developed. Because of their ecological requirements, many taxa can only be grown in low-light situations.
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.
There are about 42 species in the genus.
- Illicium angustisepalum
- Illicium anisatum – Japanese star anise, aniseedtree, sacred anisetree
- Illicium arborescens
- Illicium brevistylum
- Illicium burmanicum
- Illicium difengpi
- Illicium dunnianum
- Illicium fargesii
- Illicium floridanum – purple anise, Florida anisetree
- Illicium griffithii
- Illicium henryi
- Illicium jiadifengpi
- Illicium lanceolatum
- Illicium leiophyllum
- Illicium macranthum
- Illicium majus
- Illicium merrillianum
- Illicium mexicanum
- Illicium micranthum
- Illicium modestum
- Illicium oligandrum
- Illicium pachyphyllum
- Illicium parviflorum – yellow anise
- Illicium petelotii
- Illicium philippinense
- Illicium simonsii
- Illicium tashiroi
- Illicium tenuifolium
- Illicium ternstroemioides
- Illicium tsaii
- Illicium tsangii
- Illicium verum – star anise, Chinese star-anise, staranise tree
- Illicium wardii
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Illicium.|
- Illicium. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
- Watson, L. and M. J. Dallwitz. 1992 onwards. Illiciaceae Van Tiegh. The Families of Flowering Plants. Version: 19 August 2013.
- 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.
- Illicium. Flora of North America.
- Illiciaceae. Flora of North America.
- 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.
- Ashburn, D. Illicium belongs in Southern gardens. Cooperative Extension. North Carolina State University. 2006.
- GRIN Species Records of Illicium. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
- Illicium species records. Flora of China.
- Carlquist, S. and E. L. Schneider. (2002). Vessels of Illicium (Illiciaceae): range of pit membrane remnant presence in perforations and other vessel details. International Journal of Plant Sciences 163(5), 755-63.
- Williams, J. H. and W. E. Friedman. (2004). The four-celled female gametophyte of Illicium (Illiciaceae; Austrobaileyales): implications for understanding the origin and early evolution of monocots, eumagnoliids, and eudicots. American Journal of Botany 91(3), 332-51.