Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Osmanthus americanus

Leaves are simple, opposite, evergreen, leathery and elliptical with a smooth margin. Twigs are brown with red-brown terminal buds and raised leaf scars. Bark is gray to brown and warty but may be scaly on larger stems. Flowers are white, bell-shaped and showy. Fruit is an olive-like, blue drupe. Form is usually a shrub or small tree up to 9 m (30 ft) in height, often forming thickets, and is found on a variety of sites but mostly on moist to wet sites in the southeastern Coastal Plain. The wood is hard and difficult to work (hence the name).

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: