Illicium ‘NCIH2’ (Orion)

(Orion Anise Shrub)


Hardiness Zones:

 10a  10b  7a  7b  8a  8b  9a  9b

Quick Overview:

Masses of 2″ wide starry white flowers with a green eye that shine against the deep green foliage are produced in spring with repeat flowering in summer and into fall. A dwarf hybrid developed by Dr. Tom Ranney at J.C. Raulston Arboretum, Star Flower Orion Anise Shrub or Illicium was selected not only for its showy white spring flowers and compact habit but also for its unique ability to repeat flower in summer and into fall. These adaptable evergreen shrubs are tolerant of moist to relatively dry shade as well as full sun conditions. Provide a moist to average moist soil until well-established. Illiciums are one the few shrubs that can be considered ‘deer proof’. Foliage may be slightly yellowish to more of an olive green in full sun conditions whereas it is deeper green to almost blue-green in shade.

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Illicium floridanum, commonly called purple anise, is an upright, rounded, aromatic, evergreen shrub. It is native to wet soils in low hammocks, wooded ravines, marshy areas and stream peripheries from northern Florida and Georgia along the coastal plain to Louisiana. Smooth, glossy, elliptic, dark olive-green leaves (to 6″ long) emit an anise-like aroma when crushed. Nodding flowers (to 2″ diameter), each with 20-30 strap-shaped petals, bloom in spring.  (Courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder)

Additional information

Common Name

Orion Anise Shrub

Botanical Name

Illicium 'NCIH2'


3 gallon

Evergreen or Deciduous


Hardiness Zone

10a, 10b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Part-shade, Shade




4 to 5 ft.

Soil Condition

Average to Wet Soils

Water Needs


Blooming Period

Spring and sporadically through summer

Flower Color




Foliage Color


Deer Resistant


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