Sweet Olive, Fragrant Tea Olive 'Aurantiacus'

Osmanthus fragrans

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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

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 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


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

Anniston, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama (2 reports)

Montgomery, Alabama

Bootjack, California

Ceres, California

Clovis, California

Winchester, California

Lewes, Delaware

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware

Debary, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Lehigh Acres, Florida

Maitland, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida

Pomona Park, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Ringgold, Georgia

Independence, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Youngsville, 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

Okatie, South Carolina

Cookeville, Tennessee

San Antonio, Texas

Vancouver, Washington

Walla Walla, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 6, 2016, sueroderus from Bluffton, SC wrote:

For whatever reason this Osmanthus has never bloomed very much for me in zone 8b coastal SC. It is getting afternoon sun and I think it is getting enough, but maybe not. It is at least 10 ft tall and the foliage is very dense, unlike my other tea olives. Was expecting a lot more in the way of flowering.


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?


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 effe... read more


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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 year...it'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 ver... read more