The Sweet Osmanthus is an evergreen shrub or a small tree from Asia that bears small flowers that have a wonderfully delicious scent. It is widely grown in eastern Asia and in mild regions around the world for its fragrant flowers. It has thick, leathery, dark green leaves that are in pairs on the twigs. It is also known as the sweet olive, fragrant olive and sweet tea. It has an upright form and grows up to 30 feet tall in the wild. Flowers have 4 petals. They are in clusters in the leaf axils on the stems. There are forms with white, yellow and orange flowers. The flowers are added to teas and desserts for their flavor. They are also used in perfumes and colognes. Hardy in zones 8-11.
Growing Instructions for the Sweet Osmanthus
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the spring or summer and they will germinate the next spring or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. 2. Put the seeds in a ziplock bag. 3. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 90 days. 4. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. 5. Put the soil in a pot. 6. Sow the seeds 1 inch deep. 7. Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet. 8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.