Osmanthus (pronounced /ɒzˈmænθəs/) is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Oleaceae, mostly native to warm temperate Asia (from the Caucasus east to Japan) but one species (O. americanus) occurring in North America (southeastern United States, Texas to Virginia). It is sometimes included in Nestegis. They range in size from shrubs to small trees, 2-12 m tall. The leaves are opposite, evergreen, and simple, with an entire, serrated or coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are produced in spring, summer or autumn, each flower being about 1 cm long, white, with a four-lobed tubular-based corolla ('petals'). The flowers grow in small panicles, and in several species have a strong fragrance. The fruit is a small (10-15 mm), hard-skinned dark blue to purple drupe containing a single seed.
* Osmanthus americanus - Devilwood Osmanthus or Devilwood
* Osmanthus × burkwoodii (O. delavayi × O. decorus)
Cultivation and uses
Osmanthus are popular shrubs in parks and gardens throughout the warm temperate zone. Several hybrids and cultivars have been developed. In China, osmanthus tea (Chinese: 桂花茶; pinyin: guìhuā chá) is produced by combining dried Sweet Osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) flowers (Chinese: 桂花; pinyin: guìhuā) with black or green tea leaves in much the same manner the more familiar jasmine tea combines jasmine flowers with tea leaves. Chinese osmanthus is a major ingredient in Jean Patou's "1000", the world's most expensive perfume.
1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
In 2003, the perfume house Ormonde Jayne launched Osmanthus Absolute, the first perfume built on the single note of osmanthus
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License