Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Head's Upright'
Head's Upright Holly-leaf Tea Olive. This is a selection made by Bob Head of Head-Lee Nursery, Seneca, SC which has a very upright habit of growth, with new growth a deep burgundy which then hardens off to a rich glossy green. The foliage is the characteristic holly-like spiny leaf, 1" to 2" long and dark green. It was a "witch's broom" from the species. When this plant reaches its adult form, the leaves become entire with one spine at the tip. The individual flowers are slightly larger than O. fragrans and they have the same awesome fragrance. Since the flowers all open at the same time, the floral display is magnificent, but it will not start flowering until it reaches some age, maybe 4 to 5 years. This species may reach 20' with age, but count on 10' to 12' for all practical purposes. This is a superior hedge plant and lends itself to shearing when needed. I have had reports of this species growing in zone 5, but I feel comfortable recommending zones 6-9.