Illicium floridanum Ellis
  • ALTERNATE COMMON NAMES: anise-stinkbush, purple anise, Florida anise. wet dog plant
  • LEAVES: evergreen, alternate, simple, elliptic, 2.5-6” long, texture leathery/fleshy; leaves strongly fragrant when crushed
  • FLOWER: perfect, solitary from leaf axils, typically nodding; petals 20-30, linear above dilated base, to ca. 1” long; petals red-maroon (rarely white); flowering in March; flower fragrance described by some as resembling the smell of a wet dog
  • FRUIT: star-shaped aggregate of follicles with each follicle beaked by the persistent style; follicles dehiscing explosively on upper surface
  • TWIGS: tips of leafy twigs red early in the season, brown lower, older twigs gray, without lenticels; outline of leaf scars roughly U-shaped
  • BARK: gray-brown, smooth
  • FORM: shrub to small tree
  • HABITAT: small stream forests in Florida Parishes of Louisiana, mesic acidic sandy loam soils
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Wetland (FACW): Usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: northern Gulf Coast (LA, MS, AL, FL, GA)  [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: toxic to livestock; generally toxic
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. evergreen shrub with thick leathery leaves, on old landscapes
    2. leaves aromatic
    3. flowers with many linear petals
    4. star-shaped fruit