Though this morning's temperatures are in the 30sF, spring continues to unfold as each day we find more and more blooming plants.
Here, our Anise Tree (Illicium) is in full bloom with light yellow flowers tucked in a lot of bright foliage ...
And best of all, more rain is expected tomorrow!
A question came up concerning whether this anise tree is responsible for the anise flavoring we use in cooking -- unfortunately, the use of common names often produces misconceptions ... so I apologize for not listing the species.
The species pictured here is Illicium anisatum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illicium) used to produce incense. But the green industry in NC uses this plant for its beautiful evergreen foliage.
The star anise, which we use as a spice, is Illicium verum (see http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/staranis.html) . And the anise or licorice like flavoring is a different genus all together (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anise).
This kind of misunderstanding why botanists have decided to use a worldwide Latin naming system for all plants.
Sorry for any confusion!