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Burkwood Osmanthus

Osmanthus x burkwoodii

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Burkwood Osmanthus (Osmanthus x burkwoodii) at Squak Mountain Nursery

Burkwood Osmanthus foliage

Burkwood Osmanthus foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6

Other Names:  Sweet Olive,Tea Olive, False Holly, Olive Holly


A compact evergreen shrub with small, spiny, lustrous leaves that are holly-like, but it's actually related to lilac and privet; a dense upright shrub, covered with fragrant, white trumpet flowers in spring; vigorous and adaptable

Ornamental Features

Burkwood Osmanthus is covered in stunning clusters of fragrant white tubular flowers at the ends of the branches from early to mid spring. It has attractive lime green foliage with pointy light green spines which emerges coppery-bronze in spring. The small spiny oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain lime green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The smooth dark gray bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Burkwood Osmanthus is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Burkwood Osmanthus is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Topiary

Planting & Growing

Burkwood Osmanthus will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden  Topiary 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - This Plant Finder tool is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact the store directly for availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit our store to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.