Osmanthus is a small shrub that is known for its fresh fragrance. It is fairly common to find them growing in most of the countries in Southeast Asia. You can find this shrub lining the streets all over China, where it has been cultivated for over 2500 years. More recently, osmanthes essential oil has become exceedingly popular for its scent and natural benefits.
Despite the fact that it is not a member of the olive family, many still refer to this shrub as “tea olive”. That being said, it is still a common ingredient in calming teas.
Its flowers bloom in the spring, summer, and autumn. The flowers grow is panicles and range from reddish, golden orange, to a silvery-white tone. They also produce a hard-skinned fruit that some people do preserve in brine like olives.