False Holly
Osmanthus heterophyllus (G. Don) P.S. Green
Oleaceae (Olive) Family

Plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree. Its preferred habitat is moist woods as an understory plant. Distribution is occasional in the Escambia region, as the tree-shrub is cultivated primarily for use in the domestic landscape.

The leaves are opposite on the stem, smooth, widest at the middle, ovate or oblong, 1 to 3 inches long and 1/2 to 1 inch wide. The color is dark shining green above, yellowish green beneath. The leaf margins are entire (no lobes) or with 1 to 4 pairs of spiny teeth.

The flowers are white, very fragrant, with 4 reflexed petals and 2 long stamens. The flowers arise from the leaf axil. Flowers occur in autumn September to November. Male and female flowers are on separate trees.

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