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Osmanthus x burkwoodii

To describe a plant as incredibly useful sounds like damning with faint praise but this might be the toughest and hardest-to-kill plant we’ve ever come across – deliciously smelly and shapely as well. Therefore – incredibly useful. It’s true that it’s quite slow but it’s also long lived and with the removal of lower branches (Creative Maintenance), in time will become a very shapely little tree to about 15ft or can be clipped into any shape you like.

As a part of its forgiving nature, it’ll tolerate all sorts of soil conditions – even slightly waterlogged clay. Still best to plant high in this stuff, as with everything.

Propagated by cuttings.

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.


Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Green

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Hardy anywhere in Britain below approximately 1000ft (300m)

This is only meant as a guide. Please remember we're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.