Star Anise is a spice consisting of the dried, star-shaped fruits of a slender evergreen that is a member of the Magnolia family and native to China. Although flavored by the same oil, anethole, as anise seed, the two spices are unrelated. The eight to twelve pointed star anise imparts a much stronger, sweeter licorice flavor than do Spanish anise seeds. It is one of the flavors in Chinese five spice and is used widely in cooking and in flavoring tea in Asia. Star anise is used in roasted meats, and it heightens the flavor of stewed fruits, pies and other desserts.