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Osmanthus - what is it


Osmanthus (Osmanthus) belongs to the family Olive. Originally from Asian countries and North America. It is a shrubby or sprawling tree of small size and green throughout the year.

The leaves have an oblong lanceolate or elliptical shape, they are attached to the branches with short petioles and are located opposite. The surface is glossy, leathery, green, the length of the leaves does not exceed 7 centimeters, at the edges they can be smooth or covered with small cloves. The diameter of the flowers does not exceed 1 centimeter, they have a very long flower tube and they are collected in panicle-shaped inflorescences of large sizes.

What is the reason for the name is fragrant, what kind of fragrance does this flower emit? Most plants are characterized by the aroma of fruits, some species smell of apricot and quite strongly. There are a lot of shades starting from snow-white and ending with red. The length of the fruit is about one and a half centimeters, they are oblong and painted in purple or dark blue.

In nature, the plant is able to grow up to 3 meters in height, growing in the garden, the height can be adjusted due to pruning.

Osmanthus breeding

For propagation, half-ripened cuttings are used, the length of which is from 8 to 10 cm. The procedure is carried out in the spring-summer period. Cuttings are cleaned of the lower pair of leaves and dusted at the base with a composition that promotes rapid rooting. After the cuttings are placed in wet sand mixed with peat and covered with a film to create a greenhouse effect. The stalk is rooted after a couple of months.

You can propagate with the help of seeds. Sowing is carried out in the spring and you should know that an adult plant can be obtained in this way after a long period of time.

Osmanthus cultivation and care

The flowering of osmanthus in the house does not occur often. The appearance of flowers can be expected in the spring-autumn period, it depends on what type is selected and in what conditions the plant is contained.

In the spring and summer, when the plant is awake, normal room temperature will be sufficient. In winter, when the plant is in vegetative rest, the room should be cool with a temperature of +5 to +10 degrees.

Osmanthus growing at home can develop in depleted soils and quickly take root on most types, but prefers soils with a slightly increased level of acidity. The most important thing for them is a good level of drainage.

For osmanthus, the best option is if it will be in direct sunlight in the morning and evening for 4 hours every day. We tolerate the midday sun.

Care Requirements:

Caring for a plant is very simple, so even beginners can engage in the cultivation of this plant. His growth is slow and can grow in different conditions.

With the onset of spring, you need to trim excessively long and weak shoots. Pinch the tips on young shoots for abundant branching and the greatest density. With the onset of the summer season, the flower will be most comfortable on the street.

Fertilizers are applied dissolved in water twice in 30 days during the spring-summer period.

At a young age, plants need to be moistened regularly. In adulthood, they need moderate watering, even during active wakefulness. Watering should be carried out after drying the soil in depth by 2/3. When the plant is resting, it must be watered only so as not to dry the earthen lump.

Osmanthus grows well in a small crowded area, so changing the pot is not always necessary during a transplant, which must be done in early spring before the plant starts growing again. Large tubular plants need to be replaced annually with a new 5 cm top layer of the earth.

If you do not provide good ventilation and water too intensively, then the development of fungal infections is possible. Trill and mealybugs may also appear.

Spraying should be carried out at too high temperatures in the room or in too dry air.

Aromatic green tea can be prepared from osmanthus flowers, and can be used to make infusions, which are more often used in Chinese traditional medicine. Thanks to the flowers and leaves, you can get essential oils, which are later used for the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics.

Osmanthus is not afraid of enclosed spaces and can be there for quite some time.


Heterophyll (Osmanthus heterophyllus) is an evergreen shrub. Its leaves are hard with a glossy surface and with a slightly bent vein in the center, the color is dark green. The name of this plant was given because of the leaves, which at a young age are covered with large teeth along the edge, which makes them look like a maple. On one plant, the leaves may have a different number of cloves. This species includes many beautiful variegated varieties of osmanthus. The edges of their dark green leaves are painted with a wide white stripe. Flowers of this species are white, they are collected in inflorescences, small sizes. They are male and female, but are located on different varieties.

The most variegated variety is Tricolor - the green leaves of this spectacular plant are covered with small yellow dots. Freshly emerging leaves adorning the tops of shoots, bronze or burgundy.

Fortuna (Osmanthus fortunei) - this species has simple, dark green leaves with a glossy surface. Among them, snow-white flowers look especially beautiful. During flowering, they emit a pleasant aroma. In order to derive this species, osmanthus scented and rosaceous were crossed.

Plant description

Osmanthus is a genus of plants belonging to the oilseed family. They are woody plants with simple oppositely arranged leaves and white or yellowish flowers. The fruit is a drupe. The genus includes many (about 28) species. It is widely distributed in Asia. Osmanthus fragrans (fragrant) is a source of aromatic essential oil, and its flowers are used in China to flavor tea.

The genus Osmanthus is an evergreen shrubs and small trees. Their leaves are simple, petiolate, with solid or jagged edges. Usually they have a glandular-spotted surface.

Shrub flowers are bisexual or same-sex, collected in bunches. The cup has the shape of a bell ending in 4 petals. Corolla usually has a white or yellowish color, bell-shaped, cylindrical or convex in shape. Stamens in a flower are usually 2 (less often 4). Above is anther. A stone fruit develops from a flower during ripening. The center of primary distribution is located in China (including Taiwan), from where 23 species come from, of which 18 are endemic.

The greatest distribution area has fragrant osmanthus, growing from the western Himalayas through China to Japan and south to Indochina. Decorative Osmanthus (O. Decorus) is the only species growing in Western Asia (in Turkey and the Caucasus). Three species are endemic in New Caledonia.

Representatives of the genus:

  1. O. American (O. Americanus).
  2. O. Burkwood (Osmanthus × burkwoodii, Osmarea burkwoodii).
  3. O. variegated (O. Heterophyllus).
  4. O. fragrant (O. Fragrans).
  5. O. decorative (O. Decorus, Phillyrea vilmoriniana).

Some species are also grown in our country as ornamental shrubs. Most often, multi-leaved osmanthus is planted, available in various decorative varieties. This plant is suitable for creating hedges.

Beneficial features

The plant (in particular, its flowers) is a source of antioxidants and supplies the body with B-complex vitamins. Osmanthus is also known for its ability to calm the nervous system, suppress appetite. It helps to eliminate toxins accumulated in the body, restores the required level of energy.

The plant counteracts oxidative stress. This unfavorable condition occurs when the body is unable to neutralize a large number of free radicals. As a result, various diseases of civilization develop.

Osmanthus also stimulates the production of insulin, which is important for the prevention of diabetes. The use of the plant as a natural therapeutic agent is recommended for:

  • people who want to get rid of toxins accumulated in the body (detoxification),
  • people who need rest and relaxation.


Osmanthus is not suitable for children under 3 years of age. You should not use any regenerative agents with its contents during pregnancy, without first consulting with your doctor or therapist. Osmanthus supplements are not a substitute for a varied, nutritious diet!


Osmanthus in perfumery is a valuable component. Osmanthus fragrans, which grows in Asian countries and has orange flowers, is used in this area. And how does osmanthus smell? Its base is a soft, delicate aroma of apricot with sensual notes of musk. A shade of peach or plum may also be present. Pure plant extract is very expensive (up to 4000 USD / kg), so it is used in the production of only the most expensive perfumes.

Tea with osmanthus

And another answer to the question of what is osmanthus: in tea, these tiny golden yellow flowers are appreciated mainly for their unforgettable aroma, which is already felt at a distance. By leaching them, a dark yellow infusion is obtained. Tea acquires special notes, becoming a fragrant drink with a sweet taste.

Tea is used for refreshing and relaxing, has anti-inflammatory and soothing effects, facilitates runny nose and sputum excretion. Women have always appreciated it for its positive effect on skin quality.

In Asia, especially in the south of China, in Hong Kong, in Taiwan, tea from these flowers has been known for centuries. The emperors of the Qing Dynasty already considered osmanthus pastries as a delicacy, complemented by tea with the flowers of this plant.

Flowers are often mixed with different varieties of teas, in particular, with “ordinary” green, varieties of oolong and puer. They go well with other herbs, such as chrysanthemums, rosebuds.

Why is Osmanthus so loved in the East?

Firstly, many traditions and legends are associated with the flower. It is a symbol of romantic love, and in Taiwan, not one wedding ceremony is complete without osmanthus.

According to custom, the bride must bring osmanthus and pomegranates to her husband’s family, which she raised with her own hands. Osmanthus symbolizes love and fidelity, and pomegranate symbolizes peace and fertility. And together such a gift means that the young wife is ready to give birth to her husband healthy children and live together happily ever after.

Also, this flower is a symbol of the Chinese festival of the Moon, which is traditionally celebrated in September. Just at this time, osmanthus begins to bloom profusely with fragrant white or light yellow flowers. During the festival, Chinese families gather in the garden, eat "moon muffins", where osmanthus flowers are added for flavor, and tell children fairy tales about the flower and the magical moon inhabitants. Chinese tea Gui hua cha - infusion of osmanthus fragrant petals
Photo: Depositphotos

Osmanthus flowers are added to tea. Chinese tea Gui hua cha - infusion of fragrant osmanthus petals, has a delicate and slightly sweet taste with the aroma of apricot and peach. Also, dried osmanthus flowers are added as a fragrance to jams, soups and even make liquors from them.

In medicine, the decoction of the flowers of this medicinal plant is used to treat cough, compresses from the decoction of the bark are used in the treatment of severe suppuration - boils. The unique effect of osmanthus essential oil on the skin was described as far back as a thousand years ago by Avicenna in the book “The Canon of Medical Science”. It has anti-inflammatory, regenerative and immunostimulating effects on skin cells. In cosmetics, osmanthus oil is used as a means of nourishing the skin and hair. And the smell of fragrant osmanthus is well known to lovers of expensive perfumes: it is often part of perfumes, moreover, as the main note in the aroma. Osmanthus fragrant flowers
Photo: A16898, en.wikipedia.org

Osmanthus fragrant (Osmanthus fragrans) belongs to the genus Osmanthus and belongs to the family Olive (Oleaceae). The genus is represented by 30 species of flowering plants that can be found in nature from the Caucasus to Japan. Osmanthus fragrant is also called tea, or fragrant, olive for stone fruits, covered with dense dark blue or purple skin.

The appearance of fragrant osmanthus is very spectacular: it can be a strong voluminous evergreen bush or a small tree. The leaves are simple, opposite, leathery, shiny, serrated at the edges. Flowers - small with four-lobed tubular corollas, collected in small panicles.

Under natural conditions, the flowering of osmanthus begins in September-October and continues until spring, but it blooms only when the air temperature drops to 20 ° C. The sweet aroma of flowers is so strong that you start to smell it long before you see the flower itself.

Care and Growing Tips

The cultivation of fragrant osmanthus is possible both in open ground and as a houseplant. The soil prefers slightly acidic, well-drained. During planting in open ground make compost at the rate of 1-3 kg per plant. Potted soil is calculated at the rate of: 2/3 of fertile land, 1/3 of peat and 30 g of complex mineral fertilizer per bucket of soil. Pruning is usually not required, as the trimmed plant blooms less abundantly. Osmanthus
Photo: Depositphotos

Osmanthus fragrant prefers to grow in a sunny place, but feels comfortable and in partial shade. At home, a flower pot is best placed on the window on the south side. In summer it’s good to take it out onto the balcony. In winter, he prefers to grow in a cool room at a temperature of 10-14 ° C and good lighting. Withstands a drop in air temperature to 0 ° C, it will not survive strong and prolonged frosts, therefore, in cold climates, the plant is covered in winter.

The irrigation regime is normal: during a period of intensive growth - plentiful, in winter, in cool conditions - moderate, try not to allow the drying of an earthen coma.

Fragrant osmanthus is propagated by semi-lignified or lignified cuttings 10-15 cm long, which are taken in July and rooted in a mixture of peat and sand (1: 1) at a temperature of 20 ° C. After root formation, the plants are transplanted into small pots. Osmanthus grows better in small containers, so plants are not transplanted often (if necessary in the spring). Also, the plant is propagated by seeds, sowing them in containers in the spring.

If this unusual Chinese flower settles in your house, then it will surely bring you happiness and love. A cup of fragrant tea with osmanthus flowers will strengthen your health and cheer you up.

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Among all types of osmanthus, the fragrant osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) stands out clearly, in another way it is also called tea or fragrant olive.

The genus leads from China, there is even an area called Gui Lin, which in Chinese means 'fragrant forest'. Osmanthus has been growing in China for several thousand years, the Chinese consider it one of the ten most beloved flowers.

As a traditional symbol of romantic love, osmanthus is used in Taiwan in an ancient wedding ceremony.According to custom, the bride must bring the new family osmanthus and pomegranate, grown by her in a pot with her own hands. In this case, a fragrant plant symbolizes love and fidelity, a fruit one symbolizes peace and fertility, and together such a gift means that the young wife is ready to give birth to wonderful husbands for her husband, and the family will be rich in children and grandchildren.

Many legends are associated with osmanthus in China, because its flowers, among other things, are a symbol of the Chinese festival of the Moon, which is celebrated in September - it was at this time that fragrant osmanthus begins its abundant flowering, which can last until spring.

The famous Chinese gui hua cha - an infusion of fragrant osmanthus petals - is an incredibly gentle and unique, slightly sweet, aromatic drink that is drunk on your own or added to black or green tea. Even after this fantastic drink has long been drunk, your breath remains fresh and fragrant for a long time.

Sometimes they just make fragrant tea, for which they mix it with dried flowers of osmanthus and jasmine (Jasminum sambac) in the tea leaves, and then close this mixture in a hermetically sealed jar for two to three weeks, after which they are brewed in the usual way.

The Chinese use sun-dried osmanthus flowers in cooking, adding as flavoring agents to jams, soups, sweet cookies, dumplings and even make liquor from them. Jam with the addition of osmanthus is used in the preparation of traditional chatang dishes in northern China - a kind of liquid porridge made from millet or sorghum with sugar and jam.

In addition, a decoction of osmanthus flowers is a good cough remedy, compresses from a decoction of the cortex are used in the treatment of severe suppuration - boils and carbuncles, and it helps with inflammation of the retina. Fragrant osmanthus is used in cosmetics as a means of nourishing the skin and hair. Essential oil is made from flowers, and the flowers themselves are a wonderful remedy for moths!

The fragrant osmanthus first came to Europe in the middle of the 19th century. He was brought there by a French Jesuit missionary, infatuated with the botanist Jean Marie Delaway (1834 - 1895). During his stay in China, M. Delaway described more than 4,000 plant species, of which 1,500 were previously unknown. Some of these plants now bear his name, including one of the species of osmanthus.

Fragrant osmanthus, depending on conditions, can be a strong voluminous evergreen bush or even grow into a small tree. It has simple, opposite, leathery, shiny, jagged leaves on the edges.

Very fragrant small white flowers with four-lobed tubular corollas (false petals) grow in small panicles. The wonderful smell of osmanthus fragrant flowers, slightly reminiscent of the smell of ripe peaches or apricots, is heard from afar ..

The fragrant osmatus fruit is a stone fruit (drupes) 10-15 mm in size, covered with a dense dark blue or purple skin, inside there is one seed.

Osmanthus flowers are bisexual, that is, each flower has both male and female signs. Usually, osmanthus flowering begins in September or October, lasts all winter and almost all spring, until April, and sometimes until May. Osmanthus does not bloom constantly, but in waves, in just a season it has from two to four waves of flowering.

The aroma of fragrant ostmantus is provided by the breakdown of beta-carotene and other carotenoids - hydrocarbons that are actively involved in the formation of leaf pigment.

Osmathnus fragrant is a wonderful plant, it can be equally successfully grown, both at home and in the garden. The plant grows well on light sandy soil, and on loam, and on heavy clay soils. It equally well accepts acidic, neutral and alkaline soil, can grow even in very alkaline areas. In the first year of life, osmanthus, for the formation of a deep and branched root system, needs regular watering, but even later the land at the roots should not dry out. You can feed the plant with conventional fertilizers in early spring, before the formation of young shoots. To give the adult plant a neat shape, pruning is done after flowering.

Fragrant osmatnus grows rather slowly, but it is easy to grow it. He loves the sun and a little pristine, quite adaptable to wind and cold, can withstand small frosts. However, with prolonged minus temperatures or more severe frost, it may not survive.

Osmanthus propagates well 7-12 centimeter cuttings taken from an adult tree in September-October. Cuttings are best planted in an unheated greenhouse or planted on a windowsill in a cool room.

Having planted fragrant osmanthus at home, you will be forever saved from the winter depression, which this cold and dark season involuntarily brings up - because it blooms all winter.


Osmanthus is a flower originating from China. It is highly regarded for its sweet, fruity-floral, apricot flavor. Fragrant osmanthus is a unique essence used in the production of expensive perfumes. Other species provide a unique taste and aroma to teas; they are used for therapeutic purposes.