Monday, October 21, 2013

Today's Favorite Plant - Osmanthus x Fortunei 'San José'

Today's favorite plant is Osmanthus x Fortunei 'San Jose'.

It is a hybrid between O. heterophyllus and O. fragrans. It is intermediate between those species in most of its traits. The leaves are longer, slightly more narrow and the spines more abundant and longer than Osmanthus x Fortunei. I would say the flowers are larger too.

In my yard, O. fragrans seems to get a bit more cold damage over winter, generally on the new tender growths, but in the six years it has grown, no major damage over winter.

"San Jose' has a nice "holly" look and is a bit pokey.

It can grow to 15-20' tall and nearly as wide. The white, highly fragrant (it smells like heaven) flowers last for several weeks from October to November.  It will tolerate both sunny and shady conditions in moist, well-drained soil.


In Portland, I have also had great success so far with O. 'Jim Porter', O. delavayi, O. heterophyllus, O. heterophyllus 'Goshiki', O. heterophyllus 'Purpureus', O. heterophyllus 'Rotundifolius' and Osmarea burkwoodii.


  1. Wow! Osmanthus Man is your new title. Your superpower, the full scoop for those of us who are just dipping a toe into the Osmanthus family.

  2. There are so many great Osmanthus! I can't help myself. Every garden needs a O. heterophyllus 'Goshiki', for example, with its beautiful variegated holly-like leaves or an Osmarea burkwoodii for all the yummy fragrant white flowers in March. They bloom in the bleak of winter and when you smell them, they just lift your spirits. I have the same reaction to Sarcococca or any Daphne.

  3. Wow! You DO like your Osmanthus. I love them too, good information and good to know. Thank you, Matthew!