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Tea Olive Tree Sweet Smelling Flowers

The Tea Olive just happens to be one of Herbee's favorite trees. If you ask people in the Carolina's about the Osmanthus, they will probably tell you that this specie produces spectacular tiny white sweet smelling flowers throught out the year. This tree does well in zones of 7-9.

One great feature the tree provides is not only leaves that retain their color year around, but tiny delicate white flowers that bloom throughout the year. The Tea Olive is native in Asia, especially in the countries of Japan and China. In China the flowers are infused to make black and green tea. The flowers are also used in culinary dishes such as soups and different sauces with dumplings. The Chinese are known for their Osmanthus jelly. In Japan the Tea Olive is used in many Yen gardens as well as along bamboo fences. This eloquent tree is also planted in many ornamental gardens in a variety of other geographical locations.

Close Up Of Leaves

Osmanthus Flowers Done Blooming

Deep Green Foliage

Tea Olive

Fragrant Flowers

Tiny White Flowers On Tea Olive

In the United States the Tea Olive grows well in zones seven through ten. I have designed this large shrub in a variety of gardens and landscaped areas. One of the favorite spots to incorporate this tree is near a window, door, patio or deck. The white flowers have an smell that is sweet and resembles the scent of an apricot. Walking by the branches and shaking them, gives you a full gust of their aroma.

The Tea Olive is a relatively slow grower, depending on your climate zone. In zone seven in the United States, it can grow two to three feet a year. In warmer climates the growth rate will slow down. This small tree will mature anywhere from eight to fifteen feet high and can spread four to five feet wide. As you can see in the picture above, the branches are a little leggy. In an open area, you can let the tree grow naturally and expand to its full maturity. If you plant the Tea Olive close to your foundation or other outdoor structures, properly prune. Herbee has tips below on the pruning page.

This tree is considered an upright and is also drought tolerant. It is hardy and can withstand temperatures five to ten degrees below freezing.

The Tea Olive may get some damage if there is a late spring frost. Several of the leaves may turn brown but will the color will return in a few weeks with the warmth of the sun. The leaves are narrow and their dark green color and flowers stand out year around. This specie can take full sun to part shade. This specimen looks wonderful surrounded by other evergreen shrubs. Some that come to mind are variegated Cypress, Loropetalum, Globosa Nana, and Arborvitae. These pictures above were taken a day after one Christmas in zone seven. As you can see, the Tea Olive still produces its fragrant flowers in late December. This plant specimen is truly special in many areas of the world.

If you live in a colder climate, you can enjoy the Osmanthus by planting it in a large container. Bring it indoors in the winter time and you will be able to have the aroma year around. I would highly recommend this species in any style garden or landscape area.

Other articles you might be interested in.

Trimming And Pruning Trees And Shrubs --- Companion Tropical Plants --- Year Around Plants

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