Osmanthus Fragrans-Yellow Also known as: Sweet olive, tea olive, fragrant olive, and Gold Osmanthus.
This species here is native to Asia and is one of the 10 most famous flowers in China and Taiwan for its extremely powerful apricot fragrance.
It is an evergreen tree or shrub with a moderate growth rate, that will typically grow to 10-15’ tall in cultivation, but can reach 20-30’ tall in its native land. It can be grown as a container plant for decks, patios or outdoor sitting areas or year round as a houseplant. Either way, it may be trained as a small tree, shrub or espalier. It is winter hardy to about 10 degrees F. and generally considered to be plantable in the ground in USDA Zones 8b-11.
The flowers are produced in small clusters in the late summer and autumn and will easily fill a large area with an intoxicating sweet smell. Through the years many different color cultivars have been produced like white, silver white, pale yellow, golden yellow, red, and orange. In Chinese cuisine, the flowers may be infused with green or black tea leaves to create a scented tea. The flowers are also used to produce jams, sweet cakes, dumplings, soups, and even liquor. In some regions of North India, the flowers of sweet Osmanthus are used to protect clothes from insects.
In warm winter areas, it is easily grown in average, consistently moist, well-drained garden soils in full sun to part shade. Best with part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Tolerates heavy clays. Drought tolerant once established. Clip off growing tips to maintain compact size and to encourage bushiness if desired.
This species belongs to the Olive Family (Oleaceae) along with numerous jasmines.
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Returns & exchanges
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