Tianxiang Taige Fragrant Tea Olive. This has been one of the most anticipated and sought-after Osmanthus or Fragrant Tea Olive cultivars that we have ever offered. Our customers have been inquiring about this selection for years. After getting three cuttings from China several years ago, we have finally been able to build up enough numbers to begin to offer this selection. This Chinese cultivar has some of the largest and most fragrant flowers of this species. According to the reference, An Illustrated Monograph of the Sweet Osmanthus Cultivars in China, the cultivar name in Chinese is translated as "Heaven Fragrance Duplicate," indicating the intense fragrance of its flowers. One of our customers Sean Juo gave us this concerning the translation of the cultivar name because of leaves forming sometimes within the flower:
"This unique feature resembles the stacking effect of Chinese-style pavilions and thus wins the name "Heavenly (Tian) fragranced (Xiang) Pavillion (Taige)". Thank you for the high-quality plants!"
Our Nurseries Caroliniana female employees vouch for it being the most delectable fragrance they have ever experienced. This reference reports that its individual flowers (not the flower clusters), can reach from 0.4" to 1" in diameter. So far, ours have been on the lower end of this scale. It is described as having a flower color of cream white or a slight yellow-white. I have noticed some of the early flowers in the fall are almost as yellow as Osmanthus fragrans thunbergii.
But when flowering outside during the winter, the flowers are closer to orange. Much like 'Apricot Echo,' it tends to repeatedly flush throughout the winter. It has flowered for us from September to May with a smattering of blooms even throughout the summer. We are not sure of the ultimate cold hardiness of this cultivar, so for the present we are recommending zone 8 and warmer for outdoor planting. But for indoor growing, it would be unlimited, as long as one can provide enough light during the winter months. We recommend reading the article at the beginning of the section on Osmanthus, "A Guide for Growing Osmanthus in Containers." We are offering this for the first time in the Western Hemisphere as far as we know, and we are only offering it in 4 inch, 1 quart and 3 quart containers at the present, but they will be a good size. We would recommend that one should plant the 1 quart size in a 6" or 1 gallon container upon arrival, if one is going to grow it as a container plant. Or plant it directly in the ground if one is planning on growing it outside. It is a precocious bloomer, even when quite small, many times flowering as rooted cuttings. In the near future, we will be able to offer it in larger sizes. One can see below the approximate size of the different container sizes.
We are putting some 3 gallon 'Tianxiang Taige' in our online inventory, but in their growing containers they are over 4 ft. tall. Our largest shipping containers are 4 ft., so to facilitate shipping, we may have to prune back some of the plants to be able to ship them. So if you purchase one, you purchase it with this understanding.