Fall Fragrance

I have heard it said that the colorful leaves of fall are equivalent to the flowers of spring.  I agree that the changing leaves are stunning, but also love being enveloped by the fragrance of fall, and no, I’m not talking about burning brush! 

Osmanthus ‘Gulftide’ looking very holly-like

While nearly un-noticeable, the flowers of Osmanthus pack a punch.  Recently, I attended the Perennial Plant Conference at Swarthmore College.  Near the entrance to the conference center where the lectures were being held, I was overcome by a subtle, but intoxicating perfume.  Others were taken by it too. Attendees were nearly in a frenzy asking the staff, “Where is that smell coming from?”  They were directed to the Osmanthus ‘Gulftide’, sitting quietly in the corner disguised as a holly, but actually a member of the Olive family. 

In addition to its sweet fall fragrance, the Osmanthus has many other virtues too. It’s evergreen, deer resistant and shade tolerant!  What’s not to like?  In my own garden I have different cultivars including ‘Goshiki,’ ‘Gulftide’ and ‘Sasaba.’  As you can see from the pictures below, each is unique.  I encourage you to try this special plant – you won’t be sorry, I assure you!
Osmanthus ‘Sasaba’

The variegated leaves of Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’

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