Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Grow Me Instead

Holly-leaf osmanthus

Osmanthus heterophyllus

About This Species

Zone 7a

Grow me instead of English holly

With very sharp, spiky, shiny, holly-like leaves, Holly-leaf osmanthus very closely resembles the invasive English holly without the aggressive tendencies. New leaves appear red and mature to green. There are also variegated varieties of this plant that have yellow and green speckled leaves. Flowers are small white and extremely fragrant. The blooms appear at the base of leaves in the winter months, followed by glossy black fruits. Holly-leafed osmanthus tolerates heavy pruning and can be shaped as a hedge and is low maintenance. This plant tolerates heavy, moist soils and sun to part shade.

When selecting non-invasive plants for your garden, be sure to look for those that are suitable for your location, including moisture requirements, hardiness zone, and avoidance of known bear attractants among other factors.

Plant Special Features

  • Drought-tolerant
  • Fire smart
  • Bear smart
  • Pollinator friendly

Moisture Requirements


Dry or occasionally moist conditions