Gar­den Shop Plant Hunter

Three fra­grant os­man­thus cho­sen by plant hunter Lark Han­ham

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Notebook -

Os­man­thus is a hand­some but small genus of 15 or so known va­ri­eties. The plants are ad­mired for their evergreen fo­liage and their de­li­cious, heady scent. In the UK we tend to only fo­cus on the spring-flow­er­ing va­ri­eties, but you can extend the sea­son by choos­ing va­ri­eties that flower in au­tumn and win­ter. Al­though the ma­jor­ity of Os­man­thus tend to grow quite large, they can be pruned to re­quired size.

They pre­fer semi-shade and fer­tile soils and are an ideal plant to give all-year-round struc­ture to a large shrub bor­der. Hardy to -15C.

Av­er­age height 8ft (2.5m) and spread 10ft (3m).

O. decorus

A choice va­ri­ety in sit­u­a­tions that call for a neater habit. The leath­ery glossy evergreen leaves stand proud on stems and ap­pear in at­trac­tive an­gles on arch­ing branches. In March and April, flow­ers smother the stems and the fra­grance is sweet and al­lur­ing.

O. x burk­woodii AGM

A fab­u­lous spec­i­men to use for an or­na­men­tal fra­grant hedge as its habit is dense and tightly packed. It’s also a bet­ter sub­ject to prune as its smaller leaves al­low more def­i­ni­tion. Dur­ing April and May the frame is cov­ered in bril­liant white fra­grant blooms.

O. ar­ma­tus

The flow­ers on this au­tumn-flow­er­ing spec­i­men sparkle through Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, fill­ing the air with sweet notes of vanilla and jas­mine. In spring the new growth ap­pears red be­fore it trans­forms to green and has fine ser­ra­tion to the edges.

How to buy

Buy one for £9.99, the mix of three (one of each) for £19.98, or the mix of six (two of each) for only £29.97. Plus p&p £4.95. Sup­plied as 9cm pots in 14 days. Or­der at gar­den­shop.tele­graph.co.uk/os­man or call 0333 772 0325. Con­tract for sup­ply of goods is with Hayloft Plants Ltd. Of­fers sub­ject to avail­abil­ity. Of­fer clos­ing date De­cem­ber 5, 2016. Call 0333 772 0325 or visit gar­den­shop. tele­graph.co.uk

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