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Roundleaf False Holly*

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Rotundifolius'

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Roundleaf False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Rotundifolius') at Alsip Home and Nursery

Roundleaf False Holly

Roundleaf False Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Roundleaf False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Rotundifolius') at Alsip Home and Nursery

Roundleaf False Holly foliage

Roundleaf False Holly foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6

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


To the untrained eye, this looks like a holly with its spiny, lustrous leaves, but it's related to lilac and privet; with its rounded, dwarf habit, it's great for bonsai, containers and small spaces; it is covered with fragrant, white trumpet flowers

Ornamental Features

Roundleaf False Holly is covered in stunning fragrant white tubular flowers along the branches in early fall. Its attractive small glossy oval leaves remain dark green in color throughout the year.

Landscape Attributes

Roundleaf False Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen perennial with a more or less rounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Roundleaf False Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Topiary

Planting & Growing

Roundleaf False Holly will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. Although it is technically a woody plant, this slow-growing plant can be expected to behave as a perennial in our climate if planted outdoors over the winter, usually regrowing from its base (crown) the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. 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.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

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