How to grow Osmanthus delavayi

Unimaginatively known as the Delavay osmanthus, Osmanthus delavayi is gem of an ornamental evergreen shrub noted for its fragrant spring blooming. Native to southern China, it was discovered for western science in 1890 by Jesuit missionary-botanist Fr Pierre Jean Marie Delavay (hence the species name) in the mountains near Lan-kong in the Yunnan province.

How to grow Osmanthus delavayi
Osmanthus delavayi is a slow-growing, medium-sized shrub which under favourable conditions will reach a height and spread of between 2.5-4 metres. The dark-green, rounded or ovate, sharply-toothed opposite leaves are up to 2.5cm in length. Abundant small, highly-scented jessamine-like white flowers are produced in clusters and are freely produced in April. These are then followed by small, blue-black berries.

It is best planted between October and March during suitable weather in any well-drained soil. Position in full sun or partial shade, but sheltered from north and east winds. Osmanthus delavayi makes for an ideal specimen in woodland gardens

Osmanthus delavayi received the Award of Merit (AM) from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1923, the First Class Certificate (FCC) in 1931, and the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993

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