Q: What is the difference between anise spice and anise shrub?
A: Edible plant expert Shannon Pable (www.shannonpable.com) says the spice known as star anise (Chinese star anise), Illicium verum, is the primary plant used as a spice. I. anisatum, Japanese star anise, resembles Chinese star anise but the flower and leaves are poisonous. I. parviflorum and I. floridanum are common shrubs in the South. They are very adaptable to soil conditions and shade/sun areas. When crushed, the leaves of both give off a pleasant spicy scent.
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