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Osmanthus heterophyllus

Phonetic Spelling
oz-MAN-thus het-er-oh-FIL-us
Description

False Holly is a large, dense, upright, oval-rounded evergreen shrub that grows 15' tall. This plant blooms in the late fall and has inconspicuous flowers that are highly aromatic and pungently sweet. Fruit ripens the year after it is produced, but it rarely seen in cultivation and is not showy. Leaves in the upper part of the plant (adult morphology leaves) are entire, while those in the lower part tend to be toothed (juvenile morphology). O. x fortunei has broader and larger leaves with more numerous and evenly spaced spines. Leaves on False Holly look like Ilex aquipernyi, but False Holly has alternate-leaves. This plant is used in hedges, screens, foundations, barriers, or as a specimen plant. Plant it in partial shade to full sun in moist, well-drained, acidic soils.  It tolerates alkaline soils, pollution, drought, heat, and urban conditions. It has a slow growth rate and withstands heavy pruning. It is easily transplanted, has no serious pest or disease problems, and is particularly resistant to damage by deer.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are opposite, decussate, narrow, elliptic, and evergreen
  • Both entire leaves and leaves with 1-4 spiny teeth
  • Very fragrant, white, inconspicuous axillary fall flowers

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Cottage Style Foundation Planting Plant Walls and Hedges Satellite Dish Fountain
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Goshiki' - green and gold variegated
  • 'Illicifolius'
    juvenile form with prominent lobed spines
  • 'Myrtifolius'
    adult form, all leaves elliptic, entire, and only a terminal spine
  • 'Rotundifolius'
    slow growing dwarf form with remnants of lobed spines, less cold hardy, margins have blunt bumps
  • 'Variegatus'
    leaves are green with creamy white margins
'Goshiki' - green and gold variegated, 'Illicifolius', 'Myrtifolius', 'Rotundifolius', 'Variegatus'
Tags:
#fragrant#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#fall flowers#specimen#white flowers#slow growing#low maintenance#barrier#security#air pollution tolerant#hedges#cpp#large shrub#deer resistant#foundation planting#alkaline soil tolerant#screening#fantz#evergreen shrub#urban conditions tolerant#sweet fragrance#late fall flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Goshiki' - green and gold variegated
  • 'Illicifolius'
    juvenile form with prominent lobed spines
  • 'Myrtifolius'
    adult form, all leaves elliptic, entire, and only a terminal spine
  • 'Rotundifolius'
    slow growing dwarf form with remnants of lobed spines, less cold hardy, margins have blunt bumps
  • 'Variegatus'
    leaves are green with creamy white margins
'Goshiki' - green and gold variegated, 'Illicifolius', 'Myrtifolius', 'Rotundifolius', 'Variegatus'
Tags:
#fragrant#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#fall flowers#specimen#white flowers#slow growing#low maintenance#barrier#security#air pollution tolerant#hedges#cpp#large shrub#deer resistant#foundation planting#alkaline soil tolerant#screening#fantz#evergreen shrub#urban conditions tolerant#sweet fragrance#late fall flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Osmanthus
    Species:
    heterophyllus
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Korea, Japan, China
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer browsing
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 21 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Oval
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • 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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Ovoid, bluish purple-black to black drupe less than an inch in size that is seldom seen in cultivation.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white, fragrant, and are less than an inch in diameter. They have a 4-toothed calyx. Corolla's are campanulate and 4-lobed (lobes are reflexed). There are 2 yellow stamens per flower. Flowers bloom in the late fall, inflorescence is a short, axillary cyme.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, decussate, simple, coriaceous, elliptic to elliptic-oblong, acuminate-spinose, cuneate to broadly cuneate, entire or with 1-4 pairs of prominent triangular lobes bearing a spine. They are lustrous dark green above, yellow-green and reticulate beneath 1-2" long and 1-2" wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are light gray to tan with numerous, extremely small raised lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions