Osmanthus americanus - Devilwood, Wild olive
About fifteen species of Osmanthus
are native to Asia and North America. Tea
olive and sweet olive are Asian members of this genus that are commonly grown
in gardens in the southern United
States: Other members of the Oleaceae
include olive, privet, jasmine, lilac, ash and forsythia. Devilwood is native
to the southeastern United
States. Its leaves are borne in pairs
(opposite arrangement.) Branching tends to be open, never as dense as the
closely related tea olive. The small, fragrant white flowers in spring are
followed by half inch blue-black fruits that ripen in fall.
See this plant in dry natural areas of campus.
Small tree to about twenty feet tall in the garden. Old wild plants may reach fifty feet in height.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: adaptable to moist to dry conditions
This native tree is not readily available in nurseries but makes an attractive small, evergreen tree in the landscape. It is easy to grow in Jacksonville. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions but looks best in a moist, sunny to partly sunny site.