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Goldenleaf False Holly

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Ogon'

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Goldenleaf False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Ogon') at Homestead Gardens

Goldenleaf False Holly

Goldenleaf False Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Goldenleaf False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Ogon') at Homestead Gardens

Goldenleaf False Holly foliage

Goldenleaf False Holly foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Tea Olive, Olive Holly, Holly-Leaf Osmanthus


This cultivar is similar in looks to holly, but it's actually related to lilac and privet; beautiful golden leaves that eventually turn green are quite ornamental; subtle blooms are extremely fragrant, blooming in fall; position with some shelter

Ornamental Features

Goldenleaf False Holly has attractive gold foliage. The spiny pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain gold throughout the winter. It features subtle fragrant white flowers along the branches in mid fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The smooth khaki (brownish-green) bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Goldenleaf False Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Goldenleaf False Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Topiary

Planting & Growing

Goldenleaf False Holly will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Topiary 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features