Japanese star anise - Plant, cut, maintain

Japanese star anise - Plant, cut, maintain

Japanese star anise, star anise, beautiful tree ... with poisonous berries!

Japanese star anise, you also call it false star anise, poison star anise…. Not to be confused with Chinese star anise, a real star anise that you know more for its use in cooking than for its plastic planter…. Indeed the Japanese star anise also produces berries, but totally toxic, not to be used in cooking, of course. The berries are also very different, which makes it easy to recognize them. The Chinese star anise or Chinese star anise forms a very regular star ... When its cousin, pictured above, also from China despite its name, also produces a pod whose star is misshapen and irregular.

Star anise is a charming evergreen tree, relatively hardy down to -8 ° C and beautiful glazed foliage of simple shape. It is part of the large family of magnolias. In our climates it is very rare to get the pods.

Botanical name:

• Illicium Anisatum
(Illicium verum for Badine from China)

Plant info:

• Cycle: Perennial
• Foliage: Persistent
• Hardiness: hardy to -8 ° C
• Family: Illiciaceae - illiaceae
• Harbor : Tree
• Exhibition: Sun and partial shade
• Ground : fresh, rich, very drained and acidic.
• Sowing: -
• Plantation: fall
• Flowering: May to July
• Fruiting: Rare in our September-October climates
• Rooting: Roots
• Cultivation area: Zone 9a to 10, See hardiness map (France - Quebec)
• Origin: Asia - China
• Honey plant: no
• Edible plant: No
• Poisonous Plant: Yes

Special features of Japanese Star anise:

• If the berries are toxic, they are still used in Chinese medicine, especially in the treatment of certain skin conditions.
• Information about star anise. In the early 2000s, batches of Chinese star anise, packaged in powder sachets, contained a part, derived from Japanese star anise or poisonous Japanese star anise as we have seen above. We know how to differentiate the pods when they are whole ... It is more difficult, when they are powdered.
• In Japan, Illicium Anisatum is used as an incense.

What advantages in the garden:

• Persistent and aesthetic foliage
• Beautiful flowering

What exhibition for Japanese Star anise?

• Sun and partial shade

What soil?

• Fresh, rich, very drained and acidic soil.

Method of multiplication?

• Cutting

When to cut Japanese star anise?

• In spring from the month of May.

How to cut?

• Select shoots of 15 to 25 cm maximum, semi-woody.
• They must have two pairs of leaves and a bud.
• Cut off the shoot just below the lower leaves and remove any leaves except the upper ones.
• In a pot filled with a well-packed peat, planting soil and sand (40% / 40% / 20%) mixture.
• Place the shoots by pushing them down 10 to 15 cm.
• Water and cover the cuttings with a plastic bottle, the neck of which you will have cut off beforehand. of a freezer bag to close, around the pot, with an elastic band, we call it a choked cutting.
• Place the cuttings in the light.
• Aerate occasionally and keep the soil moist.
• Uncover the cuttings after 3 or 4 weeks.

When to plant the Japanese star anise tree?

• In spring or autumn, far enough from the great cold periods, until mid-October, to give the tree the time to settle in the garden.

How to plant?

• Work the soil at a good height of the spade, without turning it over, to adapt according to the size of the garden tree
• Place well-decomposed compost at the bottom of the hole.
• Mix the soil from the garden with sand and special planting potting soil.
• Place the clods of Japanese badianas in a pot.
• Space the plants 3 to 4 m apart.
• Recap, tamp ...
• Water generously.

Culture in pots?

• Japanese star anise is a tree and hardly retains its vigor when planted in a pot. This cultivation method is therefore not recommended.

Interview :

• Form pruning in autumn.

Flowering of the Japanese star anise tree:

The tree has a very beautiful white bloom, sometimes pinkish. The flower has long, narrow petals, also with white sepals. The heart of the flowers is yellow. The leaves are quite thick, fleshy and slightly glazed.


• One variety.

What to plant with Japanese star anise?

• Plant the tree with magnolias or rhododendrons.

Use :

ATa garden: In isolated or island of trees.
• Without garden: no

Quick sheet:

Photo by KENPEI on Wikipedia.org - under creative commons license.


Item name

Japanese star anise


The Japanese star anise tree, not to be confused with its Chinese star anise cousin, is a tree that can reach 4 meters in height. It produces very beautiful white flowers. Its pods are toxic, they rarely appear in our climates. The culture without being difficult cannot be requires temperatures above -8 ° C, the Japanese star anise tree cannot be planted everywhere ...


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