Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Tree Types Glossary

What is Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans)?

Sweet Olive, scientifically known as Osmanthus Fragrans, is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae. It is native to Asia, specifically China, Taiwan, and Japan. Sweet Olive is a popular ornamental plant known for its fragrant flowers and glossy evergreen leaves. The plant is also commonly referred to as Fragrant Olive or Tea Olive due to the sweet aroma emitted by its flowers.

Where is Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans) commonly found?

Sweet Olive is commonly found in gardens, parks, and landscapes in temperate regions around the world. It thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. Sweet Olive is often used as a hedge plant or as a specimen plant in gardens due to its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers.

How does Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans) look like?

Sweet Olive is a slow-growing shrub or small tree that can reach heights of up to 20 feet. It has dark green, leathery leaves that are oval-shaped and arranged in opposite pairs along the stems. The flowers of Sweet Olive are small and white to creamy yellow in color, with a strong, sweet fragrance that is reminiscent of apricots or peaches. The flowers bloom in clusters from late summer to early fall, attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

What are the uses of Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans)?

Sweet Olive is primarily grown for its ornamental value in gardens and landscapes. The fragrant flowers are often used in perfumery and aromatherapy due to their sweet scent. In traditional Chinese medicine, the flowers of Sweet Olive are used to make a fragrant tea that is believed to have various health benefits, including reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

How to care for Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans)?

Sweet Olive is a relatively low-maintenance plant that requires regular watering and fertilizing to thrive. It prefers well-drained soil and should be planted in a location with good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases. Pruning can help maintain the shape of the plant and promote new growth. Sweet Olive is hardy to USDA zones 8-11 and can tolerate some cold temperatures, but may require protection in colder climates.

What are the different varieties of Sweet Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans)?

There are several cultivars of Sweet Olive that vary in flower color, size, and growth habit. Some popular varieties include ‘Fudingzhu’, which has larger flowers and a more intense fragrance, ‘Aurantiacus’, which has orange-yellow flowers, and ‘Variegatus’, which has variegated leaves with creamy white margins. Each variety of Sweet Olive has its own unique characteristics and can add beauty and fragrance to any garden or landscape.