Interleukin (IL)-11 is a member of the IL-6 family of cytokines and is involved in multiple cellular responses, including tumor development. However, the origin and functions of IL-11-producing (IL-11+) cells are not fully understood. To characterize IL-11+ cells in vivo, we generate Il11 reporter mice. IL-11+ cells appear in the colon in murine tumor and acute colitis models. Il11ra1 or Il11 deletion attenuates the development of colitis-associated colorectal cancer. IL-11+ cells express fibroblast markers and genes associated with cell proliferation and tissue repair. IL-11 induces the activation of colonic fibroblasts and epithelial cells through phosphorylation of STAT3. Human cancer database analysis reveals that the expression of genes enriched in IL-11+ fibroblasts is elevated in human colorectal cancer and correlated with reduced recurrence-free survival. IL-11+ fibroblasts activate both tumor cells and fibroblasts via secretion of IL-11, thereby constituting a feed-forward loop between tumor cells and fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment.