Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Osmanthus americanus Wild Olive

Osmanthus americanus

Wild Olive

Plant Type:


Osmanthus americanus This is a remarkably beautiful broadleaf evergreen from southern coastal plain woodlands. A member of the Oleaceae there it may actually grow into a small tree; Wild Olive can certainly be pruned into one. Farther north simple large green leaves cover this wider than tall mounding shrub. Each leaf is a smooth, glossy and broad blade. On February 21, 2010 my good friend Russell Stafford and I stumbled upon a specimen at USDA zone 6 Arnold Arboretum growing in an open location in full sun; its leaves were as resplendent on that late date as they had been no doubt 6 months earlier. Therefore, Wild Olive appears to be hardier than many might construe based upon its native range. Small white flowers occur in spring. Up north site Osmanthus americanus in full sun planted in any moderately good garden soil that retains some moisture between rains. As we have not tested this wonderful broad leaf evergreen in USDA zone 5b we strongly recommend spring planting with winter protection for its initial 2 to 3 years in the full sun garden in the north or with the shelter of a south-facing wall. Supplemental water during droughts is important if sited in drier settings. Wild Olive may possibly grow to 10 feet or so in the north, but often 15 to 25 feet in its native south. However, there are wild specimens as tall as 40 feet. Cutting grown.


15-25 Ft


15-20 In




(5b sheltered)6 to 10
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Osmanthus americanus

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Four Seasons


  • Mostly Sunny
  • Full Sun


  • Evergreen
  • Shrub Border
  • Massing
  • Hedge
  • Hedgerow
  • Screen

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Fertile
  • Sandy
  • Draining


  • Southeastern U.S.

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown