Osmanthus decorus

A hardy evergreen shrub from Turkey, Georgia and western Asia with an elegant mounded habit. The sweetly scented flowers appear in the spring, developing into black berries by September.

Any soil, in sun to dappled shade. Good for windy sites (except coastal). Prune to shape if needed. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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A hardy evergreen shrub from Turkey, Georgia and western Asia, and one which we are most fond of.  As with other Osmanthus like O. heterophyllus and O. x burkwoodii (also fond) this plant is T.O.U.G.H.

A relation of the Olive with long, pointed and leathery leaves and a very polite, neat habit (‘decorus’, see?) It is quite slow in growth and reaches an eventual 3 metres by 5, retaining an elegant mounded habit with little to no intervention on the gardeners’ part. It can however be handsomely tweaked and tittled-about with though, maybe to raise its crown or through the removal of all but one trunk to create a shapely small tree. The deeply dark thatch of foliage will take a shaping with shears if you like, and their long-lived nature ensures long term structure and roly-poly architecture in any garden design.

Our dusty trusty Hillier manual states “worthy of more extensive planting” and we quite agree.

As well as praising its evergreen foliar assets, we must mention the flowers because it does those in spring. Little blooms with a big smell, and a really lovely one at that. The teensy bundles of petals hunkering around each dark green leaf axil pack a hefty aromatic punch and just one or two of these shrubs in bloom will broadcast a powerful fragrance that’ll follow you around the whole garden. It’s a mixture of honey and sweet pastry with the slightest toffee hit of hot sugar that makes me think of vanilla PopTarts.  

Any soil, in sun to dappled shade. Good for windy sites (except coastal). Prune to shape if needed.

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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