Osmanthus



Osmanthus is a genus of flowering plants in family Oleacea, comprising about 30 species. It is mostly native to warm temperate Asia ( from the Caucasus east to Japan) but one species, O.americanus, in North America ( Southeastern United States, Texas to Virginia). Osmanthus are popular shrubs in parks and gardens throughout the warm temperate zone.

Osmanthus is an evergreen shrub to small tree, growing from 2-12 m tall, with leaves that are opposite, evergreen, with an entire, serrated or coarsely toothed margin. It produces four-lobed corolla, white, and fragrant flowers in small panicles. The fruit is a small ( 10-15 mm), hard-skinned dark blue to purple drupe containing a single seed.

Osmanthus delavayi has glossy, dark green leaves that are toothed (like holly leaves). In mid-spring, it bears fragrant white flowers and these are followed by round, blue-black fruits.

Osmanthus fragrans (Sweet Osmanthus) is native to Asia, from the Himalaya wast through southern China(Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan) and to Taiwan and to southern Japan. It is the 'city flower' of Hangzhou, China. Osmanthus fragrans is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 3-12 m tall. It bears small clusters of fragrant, white, pale yellow, yellow, or yellow-orange flowers in late summer and autumn. The fruit is a purple-black drupe of 10-15 mm long containing a single hard-shelled seed. Osmanthus fragrans is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens throughout Asia, Europe, North America and the rest of world, for its fragrant flowers which carry the scent of ripe peaches or apricots.

Osmanthus is hardy and trouble free, and can be used for hedging and edging and also for topiary. They can also be grown in shrub borders and trained as wall shrubs. Osmanthus flower on old wood, and produce more flowers if left unpruned. If pruned, the plants will bear young growth and no flowers for one or many years.

Plant Osmanthus in sun or partial shade, in fertile and well-drained soil. Propagation is by ripe seed; semi-ripe cuttings in summer or layer in autumn.

Osmanthus delavayiOsmanthus delavayi
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osmanthus_delavayi0.jpg
authorshipKurt Stueber
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Osmanthus heterophyllusOsmanthus heterophyllus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osmanthus_heterophyllus2.jpg
authorshipKurt Stueber
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Osmanthus burkwoodiiOsmanthus burkwoodii
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osmanthus_burkwoodii_B.jpg
authorshipWouter Hagens
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Osmanthus 'Rotundifolius'Osmanthus 'Rotundifolius'
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osmanthus_heterophyllus_Rotundifolius3.jpg
authorshipKENPEI
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