Botanical Name: Osmanthus fragrans
Common Name: Tea Olive
The Tea Olive has been used in Southern gardens for so long that most people think it’s a Florida native. But it’s actually native to the Himalayas, Japan, and China area. However, there are no indications of it taking over native habitats, so it is considered a Florida Friendly plant. Tea Olive is an evergreen that is slow growing to about 15′ tall x 8′ wide. It can be grown as a shrub or limbed up as a medium-sized tree. To be honest, the plant itself isn’t very remarkable. When I use them in a garden design I usually have them as part of a mixed bed instead of as a specimen plant. What makes the Tea Olive so remarkable is its tiny little white flowers that have a glorious fragrance which can be whiffed all around your garden. Thankfully it blooms off and on all year. Be sure to plant it close enough to a sitting area or windows so you can enjoy the fragrance.
Zones 7b – 9b
Florida Friendly Plant