Illicium verum – Star Anise (plant)
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Illicium verum is a medium-sized (up to 18m) evergreen tree native to northeast Vietnam and southwest China. A spice commonly called star anise, star anise, star anise seed, Chinese star anise, or badiam that closely resembles anise in flavour is obtained from the star-shaped pericarps of the fruit of I. verum which are harvested just before ripening. Star anise oil is a highly fragrant oil used in cooking, perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams. About 90% of the world’s star anise crop is used for extraction of shikimic acid, a chemical intermediate used in the synthesis of oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
Care and Cultivation of Illicium verum
Illicium verum likes a part sun position and well-drained soil. Will respond well to regular watering over the warmer months. Slow growing but hardy. Neutral to slightly acid soil.
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