Look what came by UPS yesterday, Osmanthus x Burkwoodii
The wonderful UPS man brought a surprise package yesterday. I was expecting the Medlar tree but when I opened the box it turned out to be an Osmanthus shrub. I thought the box was too small to contain a tree but I don't remember ordering the Osmanthus, in fact I have a folder on my computer desktop which I thought contained information about Osmanthuses sp? as a reminder to order one in Spring but I guess it was an order confirmation all this time! The mind is going to pot quickly.
Well in any case what a pleasant surprise. I read on the Gardenweb forums for NJ garderners, several people extolling the virtues of their Osmanthus shrubs mainly that the fragrance was heavenly or the smell intoxicating. Unfortunately most of the Osmanthus growers live in zone 7 or warmer as the plants are usually hardy only to zone 7. I did some digging around and found that the O. x Burkwoodii was listed to be hardy to zone 6 although I later found that some books list it as a zone 7 plant. The magic words zone 6 cinched it. So I must have placed the order as soon as I had that information at hand.
Osmanthus x Burkwoodii, syn. O. x Osmarea Burkwoodii is named after the famous Burkwood brothers, the early 1900's plant developers in England. It is a hybrid cross of the rare O. decorus from the Caucasus and O. delvayi from China. The evergreen plants belong to the olive family. Apparently some people consider Osmanthus with its prized fragrance to be the sweetest and most attractive of all flowers. Supposedly the fragrance is "reminiscent of jasmine or gardenia". Scent of jasmine and gardenia-that doubly cinched it for me.
My two feet tall plant has a couple of small flower buds! I can't wait for the blossoms to open. You can see one in the detail photo.
I bought the shrub from Heronswood Nursery in Pennsylvania although it was shipped from Delaware. The price was right at only $10.95 but the shipping was $7.00. Still a bargain in my opinion. And apparently O. x Burkwoodii is the least fussy of the Osmanthus to grow. I recently ordered a Daphne from Park Seed Nursery so it will be interesting to compare the scents of these two fragrant shrubs.