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common name: Yunnan Tea Olive, Sweet Olives
synonyms: Osmanthus forrestii, Osmanthus bambusifolius, Osmanthus brevipetiolatus
shrub, evergreen, scented/aromatic
full sun, part shade
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -10°C
USDA zone: 8 to 10
Attractive large evergreen shrub or in time a small shapely tree, with large opposite olive green leaves up to 15cm long, sometimes with toothed edges. Clusters of small, sweetly scented ivory-white flowers in late winter or early spring. Ovoid purple-black berries follow.
Any well drained soil in sun or shade and a sheltered position.
Elegant evergreen for large borders and woodland, but appears to be very under-used.
The flowers can be used to flavour tea, in a similar way to Jasmine tea and popular in China..
From Yunnan, China. Quite rare in cultivation.