Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Olive, Fragrant Tea Olive
Osmanthus fragrans 'Aurantiacus'

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Osmanthus (os-MAN-thus) (Info)
Species: fragrans (FRAY-granz) (Info)
Cultivar: Aurantiacus

Synonym:Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.


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

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Summer/Early Fall
Blooms repeatedly


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 woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
By grafting
By budding

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By bootandall
Thumbnail #1 of Osmanthus fragrans by bootandall

By SageOne
Thumbnail #2 of Osmanthus fragrans by SageOne

By SageOne
Thumbnail #3 of Osmanthus fragrans by SageOne

By Snellvillesama
Thumbnail #4 of Osmanthus fragrans by Snellvillesama

By Pianokey56
Thumbnail #5 of Osmanthus fragrans by Pianokey56


6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral RonDEZone7a On May 27, 2013, RonDEZone7a from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I am in Zone 7a northern Delaware and I have had an Osmanthus fragrans 'Aurantiacus' for several years. I wasn't sure it could survive here but it has lived for close to 10 years, in a sheltered spot against my house. It has occasionally had some cold damage - mostly just bronzed leaves - but overall it is putting on size. It is now 6 feet tall. Unfortunately, it hasn't flowered yet. So I'm not sure if it is just too cold for it (and flowering buds are getting killed) or if I just need to be more patient?

Positive JoannCooper On Feb 7, 2013, JoannCooper from Bluffton, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I bought this plant some years ago from a nursery that I know and trust, so I'm sure it's aurantiacus - however it still has not bloomed so I can't be sure.

I grew it for several years in my Z 7a Virginia garden, where it sulked and remained quite small - but it did survive. When I moved to South Carolina I brought it along and it has thrived here. In three years it has gone from a scrawny 12 inches tall to a beautiful, full, 5 foot tall shrub. It is planted in full sun on the south side of the house, and, based on other posts I've read, I hope to see flowers this coming fall.

The foliage is a bit different from standard tea olive, larger with an attractive serated edge. Color of new leaves is light green deeping to a nice medium green. The bi-color effect makes an interesing effect even when the plant is not blooming.

Tea olives are often marketed as "drought tolerant", but I have found that they do better with rich soil and plenty of moisture when young. (The happiest one I have grows at the base of a downspout) Mine have responded very well to applications of an acid organic fetilizer starting in early spring.

Positive gardenspecialist On Dec 2, 2012, gardenspecialist from MacAlester, OK wrote:

I just love this plant when it is in full bloom. I bought this plant about 4 years ago in a 1 gallon in Alexandria, LA. I brought it home to Southeastern Oklahoma hoping it would grow, since our friends in Alexandria had one and I wanted one too. I guess it's the warmer temperatures from Lake Eufaula (which I am next to) that keeps the freezes from damaging it. Since I got it and planted it in our shale ground it has shot up and is in the stages of growing taller than our house. I've pruned it a couple of times and it has gotten alot fuller. If you are thinking of getting this plant, it is worth the try. If it grows it will be well worth it. I'm going to try to start a few cuttings so I can plant elsewhere.

Neutral overthere On Oct 3, 2011, overthere from Tokyo
Japan wrote:

I live in Tokyo and I have just learned that the aroma of the Fragrant Tea Olive is synonymous with autumn here. You can literally smell it in the air all around the city. Kinmokusei, is the Japanese name for this plant and after being told about Japan's affinity for it, I found that the hedges outside my apt. building were the same plant! Fancy that!

Positive Pianokey56 On Oct 13, 2010, Pianokey56 from Fort Mill, SC wrote:

I think I have a new hybrid version of osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus (orange tea). It has less foliage and much more inflorescence than the "typical" orange tea olive. I am going to try to upload a picture of it. I also have pictures of a "normal" orange tea and a fudingzhu tea olive and this looks very much like a fudingzhu tea with orange flowers. The fragrance at its peak bloom time is overwhelming.

Positive FT On Dec 5, 2009, FT from Tigard, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

This shrub, after it gets about 5' tall, and in full sun, blooms beautifully in October. On a warm day its fragrance fills the yard. Sort of a mix of Apricot and Jasmine!

Positive inducer93 On Sep 8, 2009, inducer93 from Cookeville, TN wrote:

I grew up in Shreveport, La. Throughout my youth I recall the sweet odor of this plant in several seasons, most notably in the fall. I never knew where this odor came from until a friend in Shreveport gave me a small sweet olive as a gift. She told me of the frequent blooming and wonderful odor of this plant . I immediately recognized the story as the smell from my childhood. I planted the small plant close to my home in direct sunlight. I live in middle Tennessee with a climate zone of @ 6a. The plant has thrived, much to my delight! It now has 1.5-2 inch diameter base and is currently in full bloom throughout its eight foot height. I hope to someday fill the meadow here with the sweetness of this plant.

Positive SageOne On Sep 25, 2008, SageOne from Birmingham, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

Mine is blooming now. One of the most wonderfully powerful fragrances I've ever had the pleasure of smelling. Year in and out, always incredible. How can such small orange flowers put out such a massive scent?

The rest of the's just an evergreen foundation plant, anchoring a corner of my house. When it's in bloom, everyone in the area knows it, even if you can't really see the flowers unless you're standing beside the shrub/tree.

Mine is about 8-10 ft high. I do prune it to keep it from getting too wide, but I don't try to control the height. Absolutely bullet proof: no problems of any kind and no drought or winter has changed its appearance or hardiness an iota. No supplemental watering period, ever.

I allow very few "aliens" into my yard/garden...this is one of the exceptions. Not just because of the sublime fragrance: he's "grandfathered" in since I planted him before I converted exclusively (almost) to North American native plants. If he ever comes in late or slack with that incredible fragrance, however, he's in jeopardy: I could replace him with a native osmanthus or cyrilla in a minute! :)


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

Birmingham, Alabama (2 reports)
Montgomery, Alabama
Bootjack, California
Ceres, California
Clovis, California
Lewes, Delaware
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware
Debary, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Miami, Florida
Pomona Park, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Ringgold, Georgia
Independence, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Bishopville, Maryland
Purvis, Mississippi
Ridgeland, Mississippi
Winona, Mississippi
Whitefield, New Hampshire
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Raleigh, North Carolina
Mcalester, Oklahoma
Durham, Oregon
Bluffton, South Carolina
Fort Mill, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Cookeville, Tennessee
San Antonio, Texas
Vancouver, Washington
Walla Walla, Washington

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