Osmanthus fragrans f. AURANTIACUS

Osmanthus fragrans f.
Osmanthus fragrans f. AURANTIACUS
fragrant olive, sweet olive, sweet tea
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
 small tree
USUAL HEIGHT 3-4m
USUAL WIDTH 1.5-2.5m
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
FLOWERS showy
COLOUR OF FLOWERS orange
BLOOMING TIME October
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist but well-drained
USDA zone (lowest) 7   (down to -18°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
Rarities
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto
Osmanthus is a genus of only about 15-20 evergreen species and varieties, and a genus which I fell in love with the first time I saw a few plants of. Their leathery and sometimes spiny leaves resemble hollies but osmanthus plants have something extra which gave them their name derived from Greek: osme = fragrance and anthos = flower. Osmanthus has tiny but highly fragrant flowers. I was an amateur when I bought the first plants and I had no idea that in all encyclopedias they were rated too tender for our C.E. climate. And since I never knew I put them to my garden. And after some 15 years of growing I can assure you that all of them not only survived even the worst winter of 2006/2007, they thrive and some of them are taller than me and I am very close to 2m. Including the most tender one o.fragrans. I keep on trialling more species and varieties because I noticed that they have some genetic predisposition for extreme drought tolerance in summer and some are even happy with dry soil in winter. And with current lack of precipitation we will need more of drought tolerant plants.

The botanical species of sweet olive is an evergreen shrub from Asia where it occupies a wide area from the western Himalayas to Indochina, and among the large-leaved sweet olive species it stands out with one important feature – it has perfectly smooth (entire) leaf margins without a single prickle. Its evergreen leaves are oval, leathery, medium green, a little glossy, and decorated with fine veining. Young leaves emerge with handsome coppery-red hues.

Aurantiacus, sometimes also called simply rubra, is a valued selected form of sweet olive which offers perhaps the strongest scented flowers. They are small, rich orange and their perfume also resembles orange zest and tangerines. It blooms profusely from the very end of the growing season, usually from early October until the frosts, providing the last feast of bee-food.

It grows into a medium-sized to large, upright shrub with smooth, gray branches. With age, its shape gets more rounded, forming a widely oval habit. It can be pruned or trimmed in any way, preferably in the spring after frost. Summer trimming is not recommended due to presence of late summer flower buds. Use it as a unique specimen shrub, in a mixed bed, or in an evergreen hedge combined with other evergreen shrubs of different features. Sweet olive is a long-lived shrub or small tree, a specimen is known to have lived for over 1200 years.

Grow osmanthus in moist but well-drained, humus rich, preferably acidic soil. Provide plenty of mulch for winter to protect the roots from fast freezing. It loves full sun but in colder regions find it a location sheltered from late winter and early spring sunlight but with plenty of light during the growing season. Use only plants with mature wood in zone 7 and transplant it no later than late summer in order to avoid frost damage after the first winter. Soi far we have tested its hardiness down to -17 °C without significant damage (USDA zone 7), only with some sunscorch after its first winter. Further trials continue. It does not suffer from diseases, but vine weevil can be a problem.

Last update 15-01-2023
SIZES and PRICES
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Osmanthus fragrans f. height 80-100 cm
STANDARD
CHLUMEC BY POST
Osmanthus fragrans f. height 80-100 cm
STANDARD
PRAGUE BY POST

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GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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