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Osmanthus heterophyllus - 'Goshiki Tricolor' (Holly Olive, Variegated Tea Olive, Osmanthus)

Type Shrub (Multi-stemmed Plant), Evergreen, Ground cover, Flowering
Form Spreading arching, Architectural Form
Size Medium Border Plant (50-180cm height)
Colours White Flowers (Autumn), Variegated green-gold Foliage
Care Low/Easy Maintenance
Hardiness Very hardy
Growth Slow Growing Plant
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Osmanthus heterophyllus Description

This variegated golden / green Osmanthus makes a great compact alternative to an ornamental holly, especially in a smaller garden. It is a naturally compact low growing shrub with outstanding foliage and form, being well suited to planting as low maintenance ground cover. This variety is strongly variegated with attractive golden green foliage that is very holly like. This varieties compact habit makes it a better option than holly where space is an issue, also it rarely needs pruning which is a bonus. Small clusters of flowers are produced in the autumn, but these take the back seat to the outstanding gold and green splashed evergreen foliage - which is especially welcome during the grim winter months. Great in a mid border location or for growing as a compact specimen in a pot or tub.


Osmanthus heterophyllus - Cultivation Notes

Plant this distinctive compact and low growing holly like shrub in full sun or light shade - this variegated variety is especially low growing and dense, making it suitable to planting in masses as ground cover. Avoid planting Osmanthus in very exposed, cold or hot dry areas, preffering a moist fertile soil in a sheltered spot. Trim to shape as necessary into an attractive dense evergreen shrub. Mulch with compost every few years to feed. Ideal for container growing or as an alternative to holly.


Strengths, Weaknesses & Design Usage


Strengths of Osmanthus heterophyllus:

  • Scented blossom
  • Provides valuable winter interest
  • Evergreen foliage for all year round colour and screening
  • Suitable for container growing
  • Architectural plant – ideal as a ‘stand out’ plant
  • Attractive form or foliage for all year interest
  • Tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils
  • Tolerates heavy clay soils

Design & Plant Use for Osmanthus heterophyllus:

  • Evergreen ground cover suitable for problematic dry soils in full sun
  • Evergreen shrub suitable suitable for training up a wall
  • Evergreen plant with attractive foliage for winter interest
  • Ideal for informal cottage garden style planting
  • Ideal flowering shrub for problem clay soils

View all the plants listed in Genus Osmanthus

View other ground cover plants with white flowers, or ground cover plants with variegated green-gold foliage