Osmanthus fragrans is also named laurel, devilwood and osmanthus tree. It belongs to the the family Oleaceae.
Physical features: they are evergreen shrubs or small trees growing to 1.5-15 m tall. The barks are rough and gray-brown, typically gray. The leaves are opposing, evergreen, and simple, with a serrated toothed margin. Clusters of flowers have various colors such as white, yellow and orange. The flowering phase is from September to October every year; moreover, the fruiting season is from March to April of the following year. Growth habit: osmanthus trees are mostly native to warm temperate zones, which are part of a subtropical species with heat resistance. Osmanthus trees prefer fertile, deep-layers, and well drained soil which can be found in sub acid sandy loam.
Horticultural functions: Osmanthus trees are evergreen with luxuriant foliage and a strong fragrance which are favorites in all sorts of gardens. In traditional Chinese gardens, it means good fortune that there are always two opposite trees which are located near pavilions, terraces and towers. If they are planted on campus, they will be regarded as fortunate in obtaining higher grades. Osmanthus trees are suitable for industrial and mining areas due to its resistance to harmful gases. Osmanthus trees are native to Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Guangxi and Guizhou provinces. In particular, osmanthus is the "city flower" of Zhejiang's Hangzhou in China.
Cultural connotation: Osmanthus blooms on Mid-Autumn Day, in August every year. Osmanthus is often associated with the bright moon on Mid-Autumn Day. Many poets describes and extols the beauty of osmanthus which is often deified. For instance, Han Zicang, a poet in the Song Dynasty (AD420-479) said, "when a guest ever planted osmanthus, the strongest fragrance was produced." Lee Qingzhao, a female poet in the Song Dynasty,said that "osmanthus is the top flower among clusters." Its fragrance spreads miles and miles so that it is regarded as vital among fragrant plants. Osmanthus is also planted in Japan and India. Since 1771, Chinese osmanthus has spread from Guangzhou and India to England. Now there are lots of osmanthus trees planted in Europe and Southeast Asia.
Osmanthus has been a symbol of elegance throughout the world, which is also a good omen according to ancient folk.