Sweet osmanthus

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Osmanthus
Species: O. fragrans
Binomial name
Osmanthus fragrans
  • Notelaea posua D.Don
  • Olea acuminata Wall. ex G.Don
  • Olea buchananii Lamb. ex D.Don
  • Olea fragrans Thunb.
  • Olea ovalis Miq.
  • Olea posua Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don [Invalid]
  • Osmanthus acuminatus (Wall. ex G.Don) Nakai
  • Osmanthus asiaticus Nakai
  • Osmanthus aurantiacus (Makino) Nakai
  • Osmanthus intermedius Nakai
  • Osmanthus latifolius (Makino) Koidz.
  • Osmanthus longibracteatus H.T.Chang
  • Osmanthus macrocarpus P.Y.Pai

Osmanthus fragrans (sweet osmanthus; Chinese: 桂花 guìhuā; Japanese: 金木犀 kinmokusei; also known as sweet olive, tea olive and fragrant olive) is a species of Osmanthus native to Asia, from the Himalaya east through southern China (Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan) and to Taiwan and to southern Japan.[3][4] Sweet osmanthus is also the 'city flower' of Hangzhou China, Suzhou China and Guilin, China.


It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 3–12 m tall. The leaves are 7–15 cm long and 2.6–5 cm broad, with an entire or finely toothed margin. The flowers are white, pale yellow, yellow, or orange-yellow, small (1 cm long), with a four-lobed corolla 5 mm diameter, and have a strong fragrance; they are produced in small clusters in the late summer and autumn. The fruit is a purple-black drupe 10–15 mm long containing a single hard-shelled seed; it is mature in the spring about six months after flowering.[3][4][5][6]

Cultivation and uses

It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens in Asia, Europe, North America, and elsewhere in the world, for its deliciously fragrant flowers which carry the scent of ripe peaches or apricots.[6] A number of cultivars have been selected for garden use, with varying flower colours.[3][6]

Culinary uses

In Chinese, the plant is called () or guìhuā (桂花), and its flowers, called guì huā (桂花, literally "cinnamon flower" or "cassia flower") are used, infused with green or black tea leaves, to create a scented tea called guì huā chá (桂花茶).

In Beijing.

Insect repellent

In some regions of North India, especially in the state of Uttarakhand, the flowers of sweet osmanthus (locally known as सिलंग silang) are used to protect clothes from insects.[7] It is also used as a fragrant garden flower.[8]

Traditional uses

In traditional Chinese medicine, the osmanthus as a tisane has been used for the treatment of menopathies, and is called "flower herb tea".[9]


The extract of dried flowers showed neuroprotective, free-radical scavenging, antioxidative effects in in vitro assays.[10]


External links

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