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Osmanthus fragrans is often confused with:
Osmanthus heterophyllus Osmanthus heterophyllus
Osmanthus x fortunei Osmanthus x fortunei in the fall in Moore County
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Camellia sasanqua Camellia sasanqua
Nerium oleander Flower Form
Gardenia jasminoides Gardenia jasminoide
Osmanthus fragrans has some other problems:
Frost Damage

Osmanthus fragrans

Phonetic Spelling
oz-MAN-thus FRAY-granz
Description

Fragrant tree olive is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to Asia with a dense habit in the Oleaceae (olive) family. The scientific name comes from the Greek words for fragrant (osme) and flower (anthos). This plant typically grows to a height of 10 to 20 feet tall with glossy leathery leaves that are attractive year-round. The extremely fragrant flowers appear in the spring and sporadically in the fall.

Plant this shrub in the full sun to partial shade in moist soils with good drainage. In southern climates afternoon shade is a must.  Heavy clay soils are tolerated.  Once established this plant is drought tolerant but be sure to supply supplemental watering  in hot dry months.  It responds well to pruning for shape, to be pruned into a tree or even espalier.  If you are in a cooler climate this plant can be grown in containers that are overwintered indoors or as a houseplant.

Plant it as a large specimen for open or lawn areas, use it as a screen or hedge plant, or at the back of a perennial border.  It works well in Asian, country, or cottage gardens.  Placing it near pathways, patios, or entrances ensures you can enjoy the delightful fragrance.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Watch for aphids and scale.  It is frost sensitive and injury will affect flowering the following fall.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Plant Walls and Hedges
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Apricot Gold'
  • 'Aurantiacus'
  • 'Butter Yellow'
  • 'Conger yellow'
  • 'Fudingzhu'
  • 'Hangzhouhuang'
  • 'Thunbergii'
'Apricot Gold', 'Aurantiacus', 'Butter Yellow', 'Conger yellow', 'Fudingzhu', 'Hangzhouhuang', 'Thunbergii'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#small tree#fragrant flowers#houseplant#drought tolerant#specimen#white flowers#salt tolerant#interiorscape#fall interest#espalier#playground#year-round interest#hedges#buffer#large shrub#deer resistant#glossy leaves#children's garden#screening#courtyard#leathery leaves#evergreen shrub#early spring flowers#evergreen tree#sensory garden#border back#walkway planting#patio planting#clay soils tolerant#early fall flowers#mccarthy memorial garden#lawn planting#container plants#entrance garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Apricot Gold'
  • 'Aurantiacus'
  • 'Butter Yellow'
  • 'Conger yellow'
  • 'Fudingzhu'
  • 'Hangzhouhuang'
  • 'Thunbergii'
'Apricot Gold', 'Aurantiacus', 'Butter Yellow', 'Conger yellow', 'Fudingzhu', 'Hangzhouhuang', 'Thunbergii'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#small tree#fragrant flowers#houseplant#drought tolerant#specimen#white flowers#salt tolerant#interiorscape#fall interest#espalier#playground#year-round interest#hedges#buffer#large shrub#deer resistant#glossy leaves#children's garden#screening#courtyard#leathery leaves#evergreen shrub#early spring flowers#evergreen tree#sensory garden#border back#walkway planting#patio planting#clay soils tolerant#early fall flowers#mccarthy memorial garden#lawn planting#container plants#entrance garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Osmanthus
    Species:
    fragrans
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The flowers of this plant are used in teas and other beverages that are consumed in the Far East. Extracts from the flower are highly valuable, and are used in some of the most expensive perfumes.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer resistant, drought tolerant, and slightly salt tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 14 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Very fragrant smell like apricots, small white flowers in early spring and some in the fall appear in leaf axils.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite, simple, leathery, lustrous, dark green leaves; 2-5 in. long; finely dentate or entire
  • Bark:
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Salt