23. Illicium verum J. D. Hooker, Bot. Mag. 114: t. 7005. 1888.
八角 ba jiao
Illicium san-ki Perrottet.
Trees to 15 m tall. Perules ovate, 2-3 mm. Leaves in clusters of 3-6 at distal nodes; petiole 0.8-2 cm; leaf blade obovate-elliptic, oblanceolate, or elliptic, 5-15 × 2-5 cm, leathery to thickly leathery, midvein adaxially slightly impressed, secondary veins 5-8 on each side of midvein and on both surfaces inconspicuous or slightly prominent, base attenuate to cuneate, apex cuspidate to shortly acuminate. Flowers axillary or subterminal. Flower peduncle 1.5-4 cm. Tepals 7-12, pink to dark red, broadly elliptic to broadly ovate (largest), 0.9-1.2 × 0.8-1.2 cm (largest). Stamens (11-)13 or 14(-20), 1.8-3.5 mm; filaments 0.5-1.6 mm; connectives truncate; anthers 1-1.5 mm; pollen grains trisyncolpate. Carpels usually 7-9(-11), 2.5-4.5 mm; ovary 1.2-2 mm; style longer than ovary. Fruit peduncle 2-5.5 cm. Fruit with ca. 8 follicles; follicles 1.4-2 × 0.7-1.2 × 0.3-0.6 cm. Seeds 7-10 × 4-6 × 2.5-3 mm. Fl. Mar-May and Aug-Oct, fr. Sep-Oct and Mar-Apr. 2n = 28*.
● Forests; 200-1600 m. S and W Guangxi.
This species is cultivated for perfume, medicines, and as a culinary spice in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi, and Yunnan, as well as in Vietnam. It is uncertain if the plants in Guangxi are wild or naturalized and from where the species truly originates.