With the arrival of autumn, the pleasant aroma of sweet osmanthus on the streets flows with a breeze and fills the entire cities. Sweet osmanthus is known under various names such as osmanthus fragrans, tea olive, sweet olive, and fragrant olive. This famous traditional tree is dotted by a large number of yellow clusters and grows naturally in southern China. It is also widely planted in the region of the Huai River and areas south of it. Among them, the city of Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Guilin even consider sweet osmanthus as the 'city flower.'
There are over a hundred varieties of sweet osmanthus in China that can be divided into four groups with a variation in blossom color: Thunbergii (yellow), Latifolius (white or cream-yellow), Aurantiacus (pale orange), and Semperflorens (white). The latter one blossoms the entire year while others bloom roughly in September and October. Hence, if you want to view all types of sweet osmanthus and enjoy its pleasant fragrance, late September through early October would be the best time to do so.
Except for its fragrance and exquisite small shape, this flower is also famous for the food products and drinks where osmanthus is the main ingredient. One of the delicious hot drinks is Fragrans tea, a traditional Chinese tea with soft flavor. Osmanthus wine is another drink made of this flower. Osmanthus fragrans is also a popular ingredient of various desserts. For example, the osmanthus cake with a 300-year history is famous in Shanghai, and moon cake with osmanthus is one of the Mid-autumn festival treats. Also, people usually put the dry flower into different dishes like porridge, roast duck, and steamed lotus root.
Another peculiar fact. Guilin translates from Chinese as " “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus," so it could be your best choice for booking a tour and spending some time in the city of osmanthus trees.
When is the sweet osmanthus blooming season in China?
From the late days of September until early October, the blooming of Sweet osmanthus reaches its peak in China. This is the perfect time for tourists to relish the fragrance of the four types of sweet osmanthus. This flower represents the flavor of Autumn and can be found in cities like Hangzhou, Suzhou and Guilin. The aroma of sweet osmanthus fills the southern streets of China. Show more
Which is the place with the largest number of sweet osmanthus trees in China?
The 'Forest of Sweet Osmanthus' in Guilin is the place with the largest number of sweet osmanthus trees. This city is even named in reference to the tree, and has a special connection with it. Locals and tourists visit the city of Osmanthus trees because of the flower's historical value. By taking a tour, visitors can learn more about the plant and its many uses. Show more
What are the four groups of sweet osmanthus based on blossom color?
There are hundred different varieties of Osmanthus fragrans, which can be classified into groups based on their blossom color. Thunbergii (yellow), Latifolius (white or cream-yellow), Aurantiacus (pale orange), and Semperflorens (white) represent the four groups. While Semperflorens blossoms throughout the year, the others usually bloom around September to October. The Sweet Osmanthus is a tree with a lot of significance in Southern China. Show more
What are some culinary applications of sweet osmanthus?
Sweet Osmanthus is not only known for its fragrance, but it is also a common ingredient in desserts, hot drinks, and wine. Sweet Osmanthus tea is a traditional Chinese tea with a gentle flavor. Osmanthus wine is another popular drink made with the flower. Dry flowers are added to dishes like porridge, roast duck, and steamed lotus root. Sweet Osmanthus is also used to make Osmanthus cake and mooncakes. Show more
What is the connection of Guilin to sweet osmanthus?
Guilin is popular for its unique connection to Sweet Osmanthus, evident in the name 'Forest of Sweet Osmanthus.' This is where the largest concentration of sweet osmanthus trees in China are present. The historical value of the flower is the reason why Guilin is a preferred destination for many tourists. They have great respect for the traditional tree, and celebrate its significance worldwide. Tourists can visit Guilin to learn more about Sweet Osmanthus and its uses. Show more