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Scary ‘Goshiki’ above
Osmanthus heterophyllus | Holly Tea Olive

CHARACTER
Wicked looking evergreen with a name that’s fun to say. Great for barriers, hedges and screens especially for that pesky neighbor you don’t like too much. Interesting in its strangess. Can distinguish it from any holly by its oposite (not alternate) leaves, but generally very similar looking to Ilex aquifolia. I like it better, especially the cultivar ‘Goshiki’ which is psychadelically speckled. Flowers are almost unseen but the fragrance is quite sweet. Not all the cultivars are so aggressive looking, some are tame.
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CARE
Care-free and pest free, what could be better. Use as good alternative to Photinia.  Deer resistant!

NOTES
Dioecious. Girls need boys to berry. Easily maintain a specific height with proper pruning. I’m not really into spikey plants and especially hollies, but there is a right place and time. These toughies are not cheep.

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‘Gulftide’ above

RELATED VARIETIES | CULTIVARS | EXTRA INFO
‘Goshiki’ very exciting looking speckled, means 5 colored in Japanese
‘Gulftide’ standard medium green and fairly lush
‘Reptans’ has no serrations or spikes 6′to 8′ columnar – suggested alternate to Cherry Laurel
Osmanthus x fortunei Dirr says this guy has greater vigor in Southeast and can live in full sun


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ZONES HARDINESS | SUN OR SHADE ….. 6 – 9 | part sun to (prefers) full shade
GROWTH RATE ….. slow to medium
HEIGHT / WIDTH ….. 8′ to 10′ (up to 20′)/same
PLANT SHAPE & BRANCHING ….. Dense, oval rounded, horizontal branches, some stems shoot up tall
LEAF FORM & SHAPE ….. 1″to 2.5″ long, 1″ to 1.5″ wide, terminal is largest, prominant spines
LEAF ARRANGEMENT ….. opposite, simple
LEAF COLOR ….. Evergreen | lustrous dark green, sometimes beautiful vination or white edge
FEATURES, BUDS, FLOWERS, FRUIT
FLOWERS | fragrant white, dainty bells

NATIVE HABITAT
SOIL does well in moist, slightly acid, very adaptable
Native to Japan, introduced in 1865 (seems like a era big on introductions)
U of DE / Osmanthus heterophyllus
look at flower images on this site

Elizabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden / Osmanthus heterophyllus
“Great Plant Picks” from Oregon

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