Anise shrubs are easy to grow in the Southern states where they are native. I have a couple of green leaved Illicium in deep shade and they are doing well. This past spring I fell in love with a fairly new member called Florida Sunshine. Its leaves are chartreuse to bright yellow but still hold that strong licorice smell when the leaves are broken.
Although most anise shrubs do best in part to full shade, this Florida Sunshine keeps its best color in a protected light shade spot. It needs sunshine for best leaf color but winter sun can burn its foliage. It is an evergreen shrub reaching about 5 feet tall at maturity.
I think I found the perfect companions to grow near the sunny shrub. Purple pineapple lilies ‘Sparkling Burgundy’ (Eucomis) were languishing in a too shady spot. Their leaves were more green than purple. So, I dug them up and moved them to either side of the new Florida Sunshine. The purple pineapple lily foliage played well off the bright yellow foliage on the Florida Sunshine.
The long wide leaves of the pineapple lily contrasted well, too, with the stiff, shiny, pointed foliage of the anise. Did I mention that the Florida Sunshine shrub has reddish stems attaching its bright leaves to the branches? The Sparkling Burgundy pulls both colors out of the anise. Then, come summertime, the pineapple lily throws up a flower stalk and you can see where it got its name. The flowers resemble miniature purple pineapples! They have made a lovely companion to under-plant the Florida Sunshine.
Pineapple lilies are hardy in USDA Zones 7-10 but you can dig them to overwinter indoors where they are not outdoor-winter-hardy. The Illicium parviflorum ‘Florida Sunshine’ is hardy in USDA Zones 6-9.
Posted November 16, 2012
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Susan Martin for Proven Winners,
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
Is white a color? Yes! White light is made up of all the colors in the spectrum, even though you can't see them. Maybe that's why the color white goes with every other color—because it IS every other color. It has a certain freshness to it and gives our eye a place to rest. Because we are naturally drawn to white, we need to take care to use it strategically to prevent it from becoming overwhelming. Here are six examples of how to use white in the garden.
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