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PlantFiles: Holly Olive, False Holly
Osmanthus heterophyllus

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Osmanthus (os-MAN-thus) (Info)
Species: heterophyllus (het-er-oh-FIL-us) (Info)

Synonym:Osmanthus ilicifolius

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RonDEZone7a On Mar 6, 2008, RonDEZone7a from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I live in Zone 7a in Wilmington, Delaware and I have found this plant to be reliably hardy. This species does well in sun or shade but can get browned from winter sun if it is too intense (like if planted along a south-facing wall and there is glare from snow, for example). Mine do better in part sun / part shade and even grow well on the cooler north side of my house, where they have never shown any winter damage. I grow the "Variegatus" variety.

Positive almir On Mar 31, 2006, almir from Sarajevo
Bosnia-Herzegovina wrote:

I have Osmanthus in my garden for two years. Im from Sarajevo, Bosnia (7a?!). This winter my plant recive frost down to -17 C (there wasnt snow cover at the time of that freeze) without any visible damage.

Neutral Littleface1 On Feb 23, 2004, Littleface1 from Germantown, OH wrote:

I was surprised that so many of the False Hollies are classified differently. But all fall under the same name, Osmanthus heterophyllus

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Variegatus' is not hardy in zone 7, when all of the charts say it is. I would like to find a variegated false holly that would grow in Ohio.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phenix City, Alabama
Rohnert Park, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Brooklyn, New York
San Antonio, Texas
Cape Charles, Virginia
Vancouver, Washington

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