Osmanthus | Osmanthus

Most species of this genus, a member of the Oleacea family are native to south and east Asia where they grow as evergreen trees or shrubs 2-4 m (6-13 ft) high. The white or yellowish flowers borne in clusters are very fragrant. The blue-black oval fruits are also very decorative as are the glossy, dark green leaves. Osmanthus delavayi flowers in spring while Osmanthus heterophyllus, which has holly-like leaves, flowers in autumn. In parts of the country with winters they can remain outdoors. The intensely fragrant flowers of Osmanthus fragrans appear in spring.

Osmanthuses grow best in partial shade. They must be watered regularly but hate being waterlogged. They also benefit from weekly applications of fertilizer until the end of the summer. In the winter they should be moved to a bright, well-ventilated place with a temperature of about 5-10° C (41-50° F). It can be propagated from ripe wood cuttings in summer. Young plants should be pruned several times to give them a shape, but older specimens do not need pruning.

27. September 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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