Osmanthus x burkwoodii

Osmanthus x burkwoodii
Osmanthus x burkwoodii 
Burkwood's sweet olive, Burkwood osmanthus
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
 taller shrub
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
FLOWERS less showy but noticeable
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty) to neutral
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
Hedging plants
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto
Osmanthus is a genus of about 15-20 evergreen species from the olive family, and we have spent many years trialling one by one in C.E. climate. We are greatly delighted to say that so far all of them have been a success because they do not only survive, they thrive here and are beautiful. In fact, some of them needed radical pruning having grown so vigorously. Sufficient hardiness is an important feature, however, current lack of water in the ground and less rain make drought-tolerant osmanthus one of the future species among evergreen shrubs. In order to see all the winning osmanthus species and varieties check our website for details.

Burkwood's sweet olive is a garden hybrid between Chinese osmanthus delavayi and Turkish osmanthus decorus. It is more beautiful and tougher than either of its parents. It boasts dense habit, profuse flowering, and handsome foliage. Evergreen leaves are leathery, ovate, 3-5 cm long, medium green, glossy, and slightly twisted. In mid spring appear small clusters of snow white, sweetly fragrant flowers in such profusion that the plant looks like covered in snow. Talking of snow - branches are very flexible and even if bent under a load of fresh wet snow in winter, do not try to take remove it - when it thaws the branches will return to their position.

Plants with small leaves are more elegant than for example bold leaved cherry laurels but planted together in a hedge makes a great contrast. Burkwood's sweet olive grows slowly into an upright, bushy shrub about 3m tall and wide. Pruning can be done immediately after flowering. It is often clipped to mushroom heads or balls where a second trimming is required in midsummer. Use it in a hedge, as a small specimen shrub, or in Mediterranean landscape.

Grow sweet olive in moist but well-drained, humus rich soil. Acidic soil enhances the depth of green colour in leaves but is not essential. Just avoid compacted or water-logged ground where the roots may rot. The plant will be happy in full sun as well as partial shade, and will also grow in deep shade where it will loose its shape and will flower less abundantly. It is pest and disease free, and reliably hardy to -24°C (USDA zone 6), while some sources rate it hardy even to -29°C (USDA zone 5) which we have not had a chance to test yet. Choose older plants for growing in zone 6.

Last update 30-09-2019
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Osmanthus x burkwoodii height 20-30 cm
Osmanthus x burkwoodii height 60-70 cm, width 30-40 cm
De Luxe

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Ilex (maximowicziana var.kanehirae)
Ilex crenata
Phillyrea latifolia
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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