Osmanthus armatus

Osmanthus armatus
Osmanthus armatus 
sweet olive
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 1-2.5m
USUAL WIDTH 1-2.5m
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
FLOWERS less showy but noticeable
COLOUR OF FLOWERS white
BLOOMING TIME October - November
LOCATION full to partial sun
USDA zone (lowest) 6b   (down to -21°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
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Osmanthus is a genus of about 15-20, while only a few ones are hardy enough to grow down to zone 6. Those are often mistaken for hollies owing to their foliage appearance. Osmanthus is native to Japan and China, some species originate in the south of USA.

Osmanthus armatus means “armed” sweet olive. Quite a funny name for a plant, don’t you think? It obviously refers to the shape of its leaves which are toothed at the margins but not prickly and I would definitely not say dangerous. They might cause a ladder but cannot bite a calf. They are dark olive green to mid green and quite large for an evergreen plant, on the other hand, 7-10 cm long, up to 4 cm wide. The leaves look very similar to chestnut leaves or ilex x koehneana.

Sweet olive flowers in mid to end autumn with tiny, creamy white flowers of a lovely sweet fragrance. The shrub grows medium fast in a rounded to somewhat oval shape. Pruning is possible in mid spring or early summer when it makes new shoots.

Grow sweet olive in moist but well-drained, humus rich, preferably acidic soil. It likes full sun and in zone 6 we recommend planting it where sun does not shine in winter and early spring to keep it from sun scorch if the roots linger in frozen soil for a longer period of time. If grown in full sun and some leaves are burnt after winter just remove them, the plant will soon make new ones. Pest and disease free. Reliably hardy to -20°C, with some burnt foliage down to -24°C (USDA zone 6). Choose older plants for growing in zone 6.


Last update 09-12-2009
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NOT IN STOCK? WHY NOT TO TRY A SIMILAR ONE:
Osmanthus aquifolium
Ilex colchica
Ilex x koehneana
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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