The Anise tree, which bears magnolia-like flowers, lives and produces fruit for almost one hundred years. At six years of age it bears fruit. These fruits are a rusty red color. When these fruits dry the seeds are used with the husk to produce the ground spice. The spice is very important in Chinese cooking and is also known to have antibacterial and anti-fungal effects. Medicinal it helps coughs and conditions like lumbago. It is also used as a breath freshener and to flavor liqueurs and soft drinks.
Propagate by semi ripe cuttings.
Requires shade and moist drained slightly acid soil. Fruits are picked when ripe.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.