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Osmanthus Heterophyllus Purpureus, False Holly Purpureus also Holly Olive Purpureus The Osmanthus heterophyllus Purpureus is commonly referred to as the False Holly Purpureus or the Holly Olive Purpureus. A tough and versatile evergreen shrub, it grows to a height of 3 metres with a spread of about 2.5 metres. It can be used for hedging or in mixed borders. During the spring, the False Holly Purpureus produces vibrant deep bronze-coppery purple foliage. As the leaves mature they take on a green holly-like appearance. The leaves are heavily spiney and leathery in consistency. When summer arrives a profusion of highly fragrant white flowers appear. The small flowers persist into the fall months.
The Osmanthus heterophyllus Purpureus responds well to pruning and can be easily trimmed into a virtually impenetrable hedge. If you opt not to prune the shrub it will grow naturally into a multi-stemmed attractive tree-like shrub. However, a light pruning will encourage the shrub to grow dense and discourage excessive spindly growth. The holly-like leaves of the Holly Olive Purpureus are often confused with a real holly shrub. However, it is not related to hollies but instead is a member of the olive family.
To achieve the deepest, darkest hues of purple foliage it is best to plant the False Holly Purpureus in a full sun location. However, it will grow in partial shade but may fail to produce outstanding autumn colours. It also creates far fewer flowers in a shady location. The Osmanthus heterophyllus Purpureus is not picky about soil and will grow in clay or sandy conditions. However, for optimum growth, it is suggested that the shrub is placed in soil that is high in organic content. Plant in a location with well-draining soil. Keep the plant’s root system evenly moist to encourage it to produce a diverse, strong root system. Once the shrub is established it is fairly drought tolerant. It is also exceptionally cold hardy when compared to other Osmanthus heterophyllus varieties.
The Holly Olive Purpureus is a versatile shrub that looks marvelous as a hedge shrub or planted as a specimen. Consider planting it beside evergreens to showcase its outstanding colours. You should also plant it in a location where its intoxicatingly fragrant flowers can truly be enjoyed and appreciated. See also Osmanthus Heterophyllus.