Osmanthus, Variegated False Holly, Variegated Holly Olive 'Goshiki'

Osmanthus heterophyllus

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



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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 Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Webster, 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

Leesburg, Virginia

Oakton, Virginia

Langley, Washington

Vancouver, Washington(2 reports)

Walla Walla, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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


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 upri... read more