Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Variegated Holly Olive, Variegated False Holly
Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki'

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

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
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
Light Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
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:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive holly_grower On May 19, 2013, holly_grower from Bear, DE wrote:

Great for use in cut flower arrangements at Christmastime. Prune branch tips in the summer to induce a fresh flush of growth that will likely hold its varied colors into early winter. A few highly fragrant flowers in November add to the plant's appeal.

Positive Meehlticket On Dec 22, 2012, Meehlticket from Daphne, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

My plant, that my husband obtained from our local Master Gardener plant sale three years ago, is doing fine. Planted between three roses, it has thrived in our very acidic loamy sand soil with at least eight hours of full sun. Hardiness zone 8b, coastal Alabama. The leaves do become more pale the more sun it gets.

Positive JerusalemCherry On Feb 21, 2010, JerusalemCherry from Dunellen, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

I purchased on after XMAS was over in Feb 2010. So far looks great easy care.

Neutral claypa On Jan 6, 2009, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Introduced to the US by Brookside Gardens in Maryland; from Japan

Neutral joshz8a On Apr 21, 2005, joshz8a from z8a, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've grown this in a 12" container for 5 years, outside here in Z8a yearround. Morning sun til noon, afternoon full shade. Keeps its variegation well in these conditions. The foliage colors of cream, white, some pink, and green are a little too "busy" for my liking. I've had the more simple clean white/green O. heterophyllus variegatus for perhaps 8 years, love it, and thought the 'Goshiki' might be even better. The 'Goshiki' leaves are a little larger and somehow just aren't as attractive to me, but it's healthy and thriving. I ordered by mail...perhaps the one time I've been disappointed in a plant I'd only read about, not seen beforehand. The catalog description/photo was very accurate...the reality was just not as pretty. josh z8a

Positive htop On Aug 18, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX
Becoming more common in nurseries throughout the south, 'Goshiki' was introduced from Japan by Barry Yinger who works for Hines Nursery in California which has been instrumental in introducing a number of new plants into the US nursery trade.

'Goshiki' means "five colors" in Japanese and aptly describes the foliage. New growth is pink/bronze tinged maturing to a collage of daubs and/or flecks of gray-green, yellow-green, gold and cream. The leaves are 1-2" long and 1" wide with seven to nine spines. Osmanthus spines are softer and less prone to puncture than a true holly.

Small white four-petaled blooms hidden in the foliage appear in September and October and are fragrant. Usually, the plants do not set fruit in cultivation. It is upright, spreading and oval in form with very dense foliage having a slow to medium growth rate (4 to 6 inches per year). It is easily maintained at a desired shape and size by pruning.

Be sure to plant in filtered sun or partial shade in order to produce the coloration. It prefers a moist, light, well drained soil and must be watered during dry periods. In addition, it does not prefer exposed areas.

I have 2 small plants growing in pots in filtered shade which are doing well. The foliage is beautiful and brightens up the shadier area of my yard.

Update 2/9/09 - Both plants developed some type of fungus and I could not save them. They both died. I am saddened by this expensive loss and miss them.


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

Daphne, Alabama
Phenix City, Alabama
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Sanger, California
East Haddam, Connecticut
Bear, Delaware
Pensacola, Florida
Chicago, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Annapolis, Maryland
Bishopville, Maryland
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Dunellen, New Jersey (2 reports)
New Hyde Park, New York
Rochester, New York
Cary, North Carolina (2 reports)
Aurora, Oregon
Narberth, Pennsylvania
Trenton, South Carolina
Fort Worth, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Alexandria, Virginia
Great Falls, Virginia
Oakton, Virginia
Langley, Washington
Vancouver, Washington (2 reports)
Walla Walla, Washington

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