The Q&A Archives: Star Anise

Question: I'd like to grow my own 'star anise' to use in craft projects. Is this just a certain part of an anise plant thats dried, or a specific variety that grows those lovely little stars? If so where can I get seeds/plants for them?

Answer: The plant that grows those lovely stars is called Illicium verum, a tree that grows to 60 feet in its native habitat in SE China. It's commonly called Chinese Anise or Star Anise. The plant is hardy to USDA zone 8, but the seeds are difficult to find. If you can shake seeds from your dried star flowers, you can grow them outdoors in full sunshine...but it may be a while before you can harvest any seed pods!

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