For most people, if they have heard about the osmanthus plant, it’s probably because of the delightful tea blends that they can brew.
You would absolutely love it too with one sip.
Also called sweet olive or tea olive, the osmanthus fragrans flower has the mandarin name gui hua (桂花) and is one of the reputed 10 traditional flowers of China.
It’s unique appearance and refreshing taste has garnered a huge follower over decades of cultivation and consumption.
So much so that the city of gui lin (桂林) was named after the plant because of the sheer amount of osmanthus trees that are planted in that geographic area.
On top of that, there are minor festivals that are specifically held to celebrate the osmanthus plant.
It’s flowers can come in a variety of colors… so does the leaves!
Osmanthus in Chinese culture
People outside of China would not be able to comprehend how positively viewed the osmanthus flower is in the country.
There is even a strong domestic market for the cultivation for osmanthus trees for landscaping.
This is because the osmanthus tree is seen as a symbol of nobility.
In ancient China, only those with status and wealth would have the means to grow them in their gardens and property.
Osmanthus blossoms during the 8th lunar month, about October in the western calendar, which is why this particular month is sometimes referred to as the osmanthus month (桂月).
In feng shui, the osmanthus flower is most often depicted with other plants in paintings.
With peach blossoms, it denotes longevity with nobility.
With plum blossoms, it represents an honorable long life.