Osmanthus heterophyllus

It does what all the Osmanthuses are famous for doing – producing deliciously fragrant little white flowers in summer, being evergreen and being tough. Can become a nice little tree or clipped as topiary.

Any reasonably well drained soil in an open but not unduly exposed position. Better in a pot than many other plants. A fine specimen sat in a pot for at least 20 years in Campo Santo Stephano near St Mark’s in Venice.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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