I’d never heard of it before. “It’s very fragrant,” my friend insisted. “The flowers are tiny, but smell heavenly,” he added. “… but make sure you get those from China.”
This was new to me. I wasn’t even familiar with the osmanthus, much less those from China.
So, I googled. Good thing my friend had posted something on it in a gardening website, so that helped.
It goes without saying that I caught the fever. I looked everywhere for the plant – everywhere within 30km of my home that is. But the plant remained elusive.
I was at my favorite highland resort and finding the osmanthus there was the icing on the cake.
I touched the humble handwritten label. There was no mistake. “Where is it from?” I asked. “China,” the man responded. Ahhh, sweet osmanthus indeed.
I bought one and planted it as soon as I touched base. But Dad looked at it with disdain. “You bought a chiku?” I was mortified but I guess there was some resemblance.
I gave the osmanthus morning sun and shielded it from the blazing afternoon heat.
I am waiting for the day when I can harvest the blooms and brew some osmanthus fragrans tea.
Now, that would truly be sweet ambrosia.
Care and propagation: slightly acidic to acidic well-drained soil; morning sun; moderate watering; propagate using medium wood cuttings