**NOTE** THIS IS NOT PART OF THE SPICE FAMILY. IT IS TOXIC AND SHOULD NOT BE INGESTED.
This is a native shrub for Louisiana, Florida and in some areas of Georgia. It thrives in shade and wetlands. It can tolerate sun as long as it is well watered. Once classified on its own in the Illicium family, it has been moved to the Schisandraceae (magnolia family), an ancient magnolia lineage. Quite interesting! The leaves are deep green and when crushed, smell like licorice—similar to anise, but again, it is very toxic. The flowers in maroon or white have petals resembling streamers, and are said to smell like fish, thus its other moniker: stinkbush. The fruit is star-shaped and remind me of candy. The sign at the base of the shrub said "Starbush" but I could find no indications online that this is its correct name. Maybe it's a Cajun thing.
400mm | f/5.6 | 1/500 sec