Variegated False Holly*

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki'

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Variegated False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki') at Creekside Home & Garden

Variegated False Holly foliage

Variegated False Holly foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Variegated False Holly (Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki') at Creekside Home & Garden

Variegated False Holly

Variegated False Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7a

Other Names:  Tea Olive, Olive Holly, Holly-Leaf Osmanthus


This cultivar is similar in looks to holly, but it's actually related to lilac and privet; beautiful golden-variegated leaves are quite ornamental; flowers may not be showy but are extremely fragrant, blooming in fall; more adaptable than holly

Ornamental Features

Variegated False Holly's attractive spiny pointy leaves emerge harvest gold in spring, turning green in colour with showy gold variegation the rest of the year. It features subtle fragrant white flowers along the branches in mid fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated False Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen perennial with a shapely oval form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cut back to the ground in late winter before active growth resumes. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spiny

Variegated False Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Topiary

Planting & Growing

Variegated False Holly will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. Although it is technically a woody plant, this slow-growing plant can be expected to behave as a perennial in our climate if planted outdoors over the winter, usually regrowing from its base (crown) the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

This plant may not be hardy in our region, and certain restrictions may apply. Please contact the store for further details.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Topiary 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features