Star anise

species of plant

Star anise (Illicium verum) is a spice plant which tastes like anise. The star shaped fruits are harvested before they start ripening.

Star anise
Star anise fruits (Illicium verum)
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Illicium verum

Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is not edible because it is "highly toxic"; instead, it may be burned as incense in Japan.

Use as medicine


Star anise has been used in a tea, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals for digestion.

Star anise is grown in four places in China and harvested between March and May. It is also found in the south of New South Wales.