Osmanthus fragrans

Sweet Osmanthus ( Osmanthus fragrans ) with inflorescences.

The Sweet Osmanthus ( Osmanthus fragrans ) is an indigenous plant species in East Asia from the kind of fragrance flowers ( Osmanthus ) in the family Oleaceae ( Oleaceae ).


The Sweet Osmanthus grows as evergreen shrub, rarely as a small tree. It reaches stature heights of 3 to 5 meters, rarely up to 10 meters. It grows mostly multi-stemmed, which divide the tribes typically close to the ground. The crown is wide spreading; older specimens are about as wide as they are high. The Sweet Osmanthus is slow-growing and can reach a relatively advanced age. The plant parts are bare. The shrub verkahlt inside quickly, retains outward but his voluminous appearance.

The constantly against arranged on the branches leaves are divided into petiole and leaf blade. The petiole has a length of 0.8 to 1.2 ( and 1.5 ) cm. The leathery leaf blade is elliptical in shape with a length of 7 to 14,5 cm and a width from 2.6 to 4.5 cm to elliptic - lanceolate. The leaf surfaces are shiny green to dark green. The leaf margin is usually smooth or finely toothed, with smooth-edged and serrated leaves appear on the same shrub.

From autumn usually from September to October to rare early spring the flowers appear; sporadically the flowers approach also takes place in the summer. In the axils often stand together some zymöse inflorescences containing many flowers. The bracts are broad ovoid with a length of 2 to 4 mm. The flower stalk has a length of 4 to 10 mm. The small flowers exude an intense, sweet fragrance. The cup is only about 1 mm in size. The yellow, yellow to orange, 3-4 mm long petals are fused into a only 0.5 to 1 mm long tube. The stamens are adherent to the middle of the corolla tube.

Those with a length of 1 to 1.5 cm transversely ellipsoidal stone fruits turn at maturity in March blue to purple - black.

The chromosome number is 2n = 46


The exact original home of the sweet osmanthus is no longer known. Their stocks extend over China with the provinces of Zhejiang, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guangxi, where the city of Guilin was named after the sweet osmanthus, the southern part of Kyushu in Japan, more about Bhutan, Nepal and India via Assam, Nagaland and Sikkim; further it is widespread even in northern Myanmar and northern Thailand.

Osmanthus fragrans is hardy to about -7 ° C and also survived freezing down to about -12 ° C.


This species was in 1784 under the name Olea fragrans by Carl Peter Thunberg in Systemat Vegetabilium. Editio decima quarta, p 57 first published. In the genus Osmanthus it was placed in 1790 under the name of Osmanthus fragrans by the Portuguese botanist Joao de Loureiro in Flora cochinchinensis, 1, p 29. Other synonyms for Osmanthus fragrans ( Thun. ) Lour. are: . Olea ovalis Miq, osmanthus longibracteatus HTChang, osmanthus macrocarpus PYBai, Osmanthus aurantiacus ( Makino ) Nakai, Osmanthus fragrans var aurantiacus Makino and Osmanthus var thunbergii Makino.


Because of their fragrant blossoms, the sweetness scent bloom when planted in climatically favorable areas as an ornamental plant in parks and gardens. The aroma is used for flavored teas. In the manufacture of fragrance wine White wine is mixed with the scent of Sweet Osmanthus. The recovered Osmanthus Essence is very expensive and is used for very fine perfumes.

Cultivated forms

  • ' Apricot Gold': The flowers of this form are apricot - gold color.
  • Format aurantiaus: With pale - orange flowers; This form is partly regarded as a variety Osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus Makino var.
  • ' Butter Yellow': A form with butter yellow flowers.
  • 'Orange Supreme': With bright orange flowers


  • Mei - chen Chang, Lien -ching Chiu, Zhi Wei & Peter S. Green: Oleaceae in the Flora of China: Osmanthus fragrans - Online. ( Description section )
  • Short description in the Flora of Pakistan (English )