Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 10:58 pm

Osmanthus flower, often called sweet olive or tea olive, is a blooming plant with roughly 30 varieties. This flower is a member of the olive genus Oleaceae. Most of the species in this family are native to eastern Asia, some in Sumatra, the Caucasus, and New Caledonia.

The most fragrant variety, Osmanthus fragrans, is found across Asia.

It can grow to be somewhere between 7 and 39 feet (ca. 12 m) in height; obviously, it depends upon the kind, how much area it possesses, and also how old the growth is.

Osmanthus flower meaning derives from the Greek words Osma and Anthos, which imply “fragrant” and “flower,” respectively. 

The osmanthus is a sweet, fragrant, or tea olive. The full term Osmanthus Fragrans makes complete sense regarding the plant’s overwhelming perfume. 

The fragrant blossoms are widely recognized as “GUI Hua” in China, and people consider them among the most fragrant flowers in the country.

What does the Osmanthus flower symbolize?

Osmanthus is a metaphorically extremely positive blossom, suggesting peace, dedication, and passion. The osmanthus flower is traditionally believed to be love, loyalty, and motherhood. 

These flowers, which signify peace in Chinese culture, have been used in marriages or presented as a greeting from a bride toward her new family. The osmanthus flower means a blessing with improved luck, success, and dignity in flowering lore.

The osmanthus flower has also played an essential part in Chinese culture for generations. The poet Yang Wanli had said in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that even the fragrant aroma of osmanthus is “hard to believe it comes from nature and not the moon in heaven.”

In addition, according to Chinese tradition, osmanthus originated on the lunar surface. An epidemic ravaged the humankind population on Earth below, so a fairy spread the seeds of osmanthus plants. The aromatic blossoms convert into wines that treat the plague as the bushes thrived and blossomed.

Osmanthus is also said to bloom on the moon in legend. According to legend, Wu Gang (also renowned as the Chinese Sisyphus) was chastised by being forced to cut down the lunar trees and shrubs, which healed quickly and indefinitely.

During September, a celebration is known as the Chinese Moon Festival or the Osmanthus Carnival. It is always celebrated on the full moon and celebrates the orchid osmanthus, which matures at about the same period as the full moon.

The osmanthus flower’s strong perfume represents riches, money, and great luck. This flower is frequently used in bridal flower arrangements and floral decoration because it represents real love, loyalty, motherhood, and calm. It has a rich history of use in traditional remedies and is still used for flavoring and fragrances today.

All in all, the osmanthus flower symbolic meanings are:

  • true love
  • faithfulness
  • fertility
  • tranquility
  • commitment
  • romance
  • good luck
  • peace

Meaning of the Osmanthus flower colors

White color

Historically, people use white osmanthus flowers in marriages. The bride would give her new family white osmanthus blossoms representing devotion, love, a new phase in a life filled with tranquility, and the desire to expand the family.

Osmanthus flower means the bride’s desire to have several honorable offspring and provide grandkids to her new family. It also has the same meaning as other white flowers: elegance, loyalty, devotion, and moral strength.

Orange color

The significance of orange osmanthus blossoms is similar to those of other orange flowers, where positivity, pleasure, and tranquility are commonly associated.

Orange osmanthus symbolizes daring, fresh prospects, hope for a better future, and qualities you like in others, such as their uniqueness.

Yellow color

Yellow osmanthus blossoms symbolize non-romantic but equally profound affection, confidence, enjoyment, and a time of satisfaction.

Interesting facts about the Osmanthus flowers

  • According to the Moon Palace tale, the Jade Emperor was invited to visit the moon. When the Emperor passed the silver bridge between the earth and the moon, he discovered an Osmanthus tree planted in front of the same magnificent castle. During his stay, performers treated him and ate moon-shaped osmanthus sweets.
  • People traditionally admire the osmanthus flower for its seductive smell. This famous flowering plant also has a major role in its homeland China, where people use this in traditional herbal remedies and perfumes. 
  • Blooms of the osmanthus have long been valued for their therapeutic properties. It treats boils, carbuncles, and other skin diseases with a brew from the branches’ peel. People use plant essential oils as an efficient bug repellent.
  • Rheumatism, bruising, and Dysmenorrhoea has all been treated with osmanthus tubers. Blossoms, barks, and stalks cure coughs, whooping coughs, and retinitis. Blossoms in cosmetics and to improve skin and hair.
  • This flower helps make osmanthus cake, sweets, and wine, among other things. Wine is in itself a celebration of love and belonging to a family.
  • Osmanthus has had no recorded negative impacts on humans, animals, or cattle. With its apricot-scented blossoms, it attracts bees.

How to grow Osmanthus flowers

Osmanthus is slow-growing and can take a year or two to establish, but they make wonderful feature plants for borders, screening, or hedging if given enough time.

  1. Plant the osmanthus in any good garden soil, but average, moist, well-drained soil is best.
  2. Place them in an area of full sun or part shade.
  3. Young plants should be regularly watered for the first year or so.
  4. Apply a single spring feeding with a time-release shrub and tree fertilizer, ideally containing sulfur or iron.

How to care for Osmanthus flowers

  1. Watering established osmanthus is necessary only when there is no weekly rainfall.
  2. Mulch the soil around the base of the plant with well-rotted organic matter such as homemade garden compost, leaf mold, or chipped bark, avoiding contact with the stems. 
  3. Apply a general fertilizer at the same time.
  4. Prune only if they get too big or develop unattractive or dead branches.
  5. Clip the tips to encourage growth and maintain the desired size.
  6. Prune the plant at the end of winter before buds appear.

Best time to gift Osmanthus flowers

If you want to honor somebody’s accomplishments or goals, osmanthus flowers are an ideal gift for them.

This flower seems especially relevant at weddings as the osmanthus flower has a lot of religious significance, but that’s not the sole incentive to give anyone this lovely, aromatic flower.

Osmanthus flower meaning can be a Soul mate, loyalty, and motherhood. It traditionally connects with white osmanthus blossoms. 

These sweet-scented flowers are a fantastic complement to bridal flower arrangements because of their meaning. They are also a great choice for newborn baby showers because of their relationship with nobility, as they represent newborns growing up to be honorable.

Osmanthus blossoms are ideal for giving somebody confidence and expressing well-wishes, and the strong aroma may be especially comforting throughout a difficult moment, showing them that you’ve been caring about them.


Osmanthus flower is an excellent choice for adding everlasting appeal and enticing fragrance to your garden. This lovely shrub is steeped in history and symbolism, making it an excellent accent to any landscape.

It will offer culture, charisma, and a lovely perfume to any part of your garden, and its blossoms will make an excellent cut flower for just about anyone.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!