Monday, May 23, 2016

Class of 2016 -- Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki', false holly

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki', false holly, the small reddish leaves represent new growth, while the older leaves have green and yellow variegation.
Yep, Goshiki offers pretty a whole rainbow of colors in a single plant!

Why I'm growing Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' in my garden...

1) I like the fact that it is a broadleaf evergreen shrub. There are not that many broadleaf evergreens that are reliably hardy in Tennessee, but Fred Spicer of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens says that O. heterophyllus should be "rock-hardy" even in USDA zone 6a.

2) Spicer also notes that false holly has excellent drought tolerance in Alabama.

3) Louisiana State University says that O. heterophyllus has fragrant autumn flowers. (Personally I have not seen or smelled any flowers yet on my false hollies.)

4) Rutgers indicates that false holly is fairly deer resistant ("seldom severely damaged").

5) Respected plantsman Michael Dirr says O. heterophyllus makes a resilient and virtually impenetrable hedge that can withstand heat, drought and pruning.

6) The Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute says that false holly flowers attract bees, while its fruit provides food for wildlife.

Do you grow false holly? If so, what has been your experience with this plant?


Follow Aaron Dalton on Feedio


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Is it poisonous, or non-toxic? I can't seem to find any information about that one way or the other. Thank you.

    1. Hi Angelina,

      Thanks for your comment :)

      The California Poison Control Center lists Osmanthus heterophyllus as a non-toxic plant (

      Please note that "non-toxic" does NOT mean "edible".

      The California Poison Control Center offers the following general warnings as a preface to its list of "non-toxic" plants:

      "The plants in this list are considered to be safe to humans...Keep in mind that even non-toxic plants can cause vomiting in humans and animals. Also children can choke on a plant piece and have gagging or choking. Some plants that are not a problem to humans can be a problem for animals."


Need to add an image? Use this code [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]