Holly Tea Olive
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Evergreen shrub, 8-10(20) ft, [2.4-3(6) m], dense, upright oval. Leaves opposite, simple: may be juvenile (lower) holly-type with spiny teeth or adult (upper), which are simple, elliptic or ovate, 4-6 cm long, leathery, lustrous dark green above, yellowish green below. Mature specimen may have mostly adult leaves. Flowers, small, 6 mm across, white, fragrant, in leaf axils in autumn. Fruit not usually produced in cultivation, slender, ovoid, 1 cm long, bluish-purple to black.
- Sun to part shade; prefers fertile, moist, well drained, acid soil, but tolerates higher pH soils.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (6)7, varies with cultivar. Native to Japan
A number of cultivars, including:
- ‘Goshiki’ - new growth pinkish bronze, spiny mature leaves have a mixture of green, gold, and cream areas; grows to 5 ft high and 4 feet wide; listed as hardy to Zone 6.
- ‘Gulftide’ - plant upright, dense, 10-15 ft (3-4.5 m) tall, slightly less width; leaves glossy dark green, spiny, but less so with maturity.
- ‘Ilicifolius’ - O. ilicifolius is sometimes listed as a synonym of O. heterophyllus, but apparently a distinct cultivar is also available under this name; it is a bushy shrub with leaves that are deep green, glossy, and about 5 cm long; new growth is bronze.
- 'Kembu' - upright, variegated, slow growing, reportedly fewer thorns than many other cultivars.
- 'Ogon' - new leaves bright, waxy yellow, becoming chartreuse by midsummer dark green the next season.
- ‘Purpureus’ - leaves dark purple when new, mature to green with a purple cast; considered one of the hardiest forms.
- ‘Rotundifolius’ - slow growing dwarf, to 10 ft (3 m), bushy; leaves small, rounded, spineless.
- 'Sasaba' - upright, open habit, leaves are deeply cut and forming stiff, sharp triangular lobes, dark green color with light green veins.
- ‘Variegatus’ - slow growing, after many year 8-10 (2.5-3 m) ft tall, dense; leaves green edged in creamy white, spiny; less hardy, Zone 7.
- Osmanthus: from Greek osme, fragrance, and anthos, flowers. heterophyllus: with variable leaves