Osmanthus heterophyllus (southern Japan)
(= O. ilicifolius )
Habit: Shrub like Ilex, 2-3 m tall and wide, larger in temperate zones, initially upright, then extended to round, slow-growing, 20-30 cm a year.
Flowers: In small, white clusters, September to October, very pleasant, sweet fragrance.
Fruits: Rare here, blue-black, not very conspicuous.
Leaves: Evergreen, coarse, elliptical, dark to black-green, thorns on the margins of young leaves, leaves of older plants without thorns like Ilex.
Demands: Semi-shade to shade; tolerant of heat, needs warmth, not very frost hardy, needs protection.
Natural habitat: Dry to moist, moderately acidic to slightly alkaline, adaptive, any well drained, sandy-loamy soil, withering on heavy soil.
Our tip: Its relation to Ligustrum is evident in its tolerance of cutting; also possible as a hedge in favourable areas.
Hardiness: Zone 7a