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Osmanthus armatus Diels

Modern name

Osmanthus armatus Diels

An evergreen shrub or small tree 8 to 15 ft high; young shoots stiff, at first clothed with minute down, turning greyish white by autumn, slightly warted. Leaves very leathery, oblong-lanceolate, 3 to 6 in. or even more long on young specimens, 34 to 112 in. wide, abruptly narrowed to the rounded or slightly heart-shaped base, taper-pointed, coarsely toothed, with up to about ten teeth per side, the teeth triangular, 18 to 13 in. long, and with spiny points, or entire, dark dull green, prominently net-veined and quite glabrous, minutely dotted beneath; stalk 18 to 14 in. long, reddish. Flowers produced during autumn in clusters in the leaf-axils, creamy white, 14 in. in diameter, fragrant; each on a slender glabrous stalk 14 in. long. Fruits dark violet, egg-shaped, 34 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 9232.

Native of W. China; introduced for Messrs Veitch by Wilson in 1902, and strikingly distinct in the length of the leaf from the other hardy species. Although the spine-tipped teeth are a prominent feature of the leaves of young plants, they are often quite absent in adult specimens. According to Wilson, it grows on humus-clad cliffs and boulders, either in dense shade or fully exposed to sunshine.



Other species in the genus