Classified as a shrub, this small, ornamental, evergreen 'tree'; which rarely grows taller than 10 feet, is native to lower southeastern USA. Its wood, leaves, and fruit smell like licorice. It has lance-shaped green leaves, small yellow-green flowers that appear in June, and star-shaped fruit in September/October. Do not confuse this species with the Star Anise Tree from which spice is made. The fruit of the Small Anise Tree yield shiny brown seeds that are poisonous and cannot be used for spice. Deer resistant.