Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Purpureus’

Remarkable form of the holly leaf tea olive with new growth that emerges a deep purple black. It settles to dark green in summer on a large growing shrub to 8′ x 8′ in 7 years. Full sun to very light shade in all soils that drain well. Very drought adapted when established. Mature shrubs bear masses of tiny white flowers in the leaf axils in October-November that cast a sweet perfume. Excellent cold hardiness. This is one of the few broad leaf evergreens that is perfectly hardy to the subfreezing wind of the gorge. Troutdale, this shrubs for you. Great hedge as well as specimen. Flowers occur on wood from the previous year- prune in winter after flowering.

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Osmanthus x burkwoodii

An iron clad shrub for western Oregon. It endures heavy clay soils, summer drought and the coldest temperatures we can expect with no harm. Dapper evergreen shrub with handsome matte green leaves. In February and March masses of small tubular white fragrant flowers crowd the stems and emit the perfume of vanilla. Very drought tolerant but adaptable to regular irrigation as well. Avoid permanently wet sites. To 7′ x 7′ in 7 years. Tolerates subfreezing wind and is useful as a hedge/windbreak in areas exposed to gorge outflow. Blooms on wood from the previous season prune- if needed after flowering. Tolerates quite a bit of shade. Very old specimens turn into exotic looking evergreen trees with umbrella shaped clouds of foliage.

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Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus

One of the coolest shrubs that we can grow and incredibly rare in our climate. Large evergreen shrub or small tree to 12′ tall and forming a dome. Prolifically nestled among each leaf axil clusters of vivid but small ORANGE flowers with the fragrance of juicy fruit gum  appear in October-November. A shrub in full bloom is detectable many many feet away. Handsome large leaves contrast with pale tan stems and bark. Full sun to part shade and rich to average well drained soil with light summer irrigation. Drought adapted when established. Grows 1′-2′ a year- picks up speed when older. Hardier to cold than most forms of regular Osmanthus fragrans. Protect from subfreezing winds. Seems to require summer heat to set flowers as well as harden off for winter weather. Unlikely to thrive in cool summer climates.

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Osmanthus x fortunei ‘San Jose’

Amazing hybrid Tea olive that inherits the insane perfume of O. fragrans and the cold hardiness of O. heterophyllus. Fast growing columnar broad leaved evergreen shrub to 16′ tall x 5′ wide in 7 years. In time it can make tree like status to 20’+ tall. Otherwise pruning easily keeps it much smaller. In Oct-Dec. tiny parchment colored flowers crowd the stems and emit the sweet penetrating perfume of Freesia and apricots. On mild days its detectable up to 20′ away. Juvenile foliage is prickly but as the shrub matures it develops entire leaves with a smooth margin. Young plants grow about 2′-5′ per year depending upon summer irrigation and soil fertility. This shrub is always at its most lustrous and healthy appearance. Average well drained soil with light but consistent summer irrigation. Totally summer drought tolerant when established. Excellent screen, hedge, or just as a large specimen if you love perfume. Bark/stems are a handsome pale tan- good contrast with the deep green leaves. Avoid direct exposure to subfreezing east wind. Long lived.

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