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Osmanthus Flower Meaning, Colors & Symbolism

Osmanthus Flower Meaning, Colors & Symbolism

Native to Southern China and Southeast Asia, the osmanthus is a fragrant, evergreen shrub with small, pale green leaves. The fragrant clusters bloom in late summer and autumn and are used to flavor wine, green tea, and beer. So, what is the meaning and significance of the osmanthus flower?

The meaning of the osmanthus flower is harmony, love, good fortune, fertility, friendship, and joy. You will see osmanthus flowers at rituals or special cultural events celebrating life. Additionally, different-colored osmanthus blooms represent different meanings.

The meaning behind this small flower is much bigger than what meets the eye. Read on to learn more about this beautiful tree that grows alongside streams or as an ornamental plant in Japanese gardens.

What Do Osmanthus Flowers Symbolize?

Osmanthus flowers have been used as beauty icons by ancient Chinese scholars, poets, and emperors. Some even constructed their gardens solely to house these trees to symbolize nobility and good fortune

It is a widely-held belief that the smell and sight of the fragrant white-yellow-orange flowers may bring good fortune and happiness to anyone who comes into contact with them. Because of this, they’re also used for weddings and as household plants to generate peace, love, and fertility

Osmanthus Meaning

Osmanthus has a long history of significance in North America, Asia, and Europe. They are often given as gifts and can be used in rituals to celebrate life and mark special occasions. Due to its association with August, many use the osmanthus flower in gifts or offerings during Valentine’s Day and the Hungry Ghost Festival in China. 

They also carry emotional meaning, as they can evoke feelings such as joy and love.

While the reasons for the flowers’ significance are varied and personal, each likely has some deeper meaning.

The meaning of the osmanthus flower is related to its appearance or usage in specific scenarios. For example, in Chinese cuisine, the tea olive osmanthus is used in:

Osmanthus Flower Color Symbolism 

An osmanthus bloom grows to about 0.39 inches (1 cm) in diameter. These flowers come in several shades that possess various cultural significances. You may see osmanthus blooms in: 

  • White
  • Pale yellow
  • Yellow
  • Orange-yellow  

The White (Semperflorens) and Creme (Latifolius) Osmanthus

White Osmanthus Flower

A white or creme osmanthus bouquet is appropriate for formal events, such as baptisms or graduations, where it signals purity and innocence. 

Many people use the white osmanthus flower in their wedding to symbolize: 

  • Love
  • Marriage
  • Beauty
  • Charm
  • Elegance
  • Honour 

The Yellow Osmanthus (Thunbergii)

Yellow Osmanthus Flower

The yellow osmanthus flower represents joy, friendship, and peace. These flowers tend to grow in areas with a high amount of sunshine, which makes them associated with happy feelings.

Yellow osmanthus flowers can also symbolize success and good fortune because they are prevalent in nature. Most people associate the yellow clusters with summertime and sunny days, which is why people like to have them in their gardens.

Because of the association between yellow and good fortune, you will notice this flower at weddings and other cultural celebrations. They are a common flower in a bride’s bouquet.

The Orange Osmanthus (Aurantiacus)

Orange Osmanthus Flower

The orange osmanthus symbolizes new beginnings, growth, and prosperity. They signify renewal and attraction regarding the love and affection between people and the evolution of things. 

You will see orange osmanthus flowers in gardens and public parks worldwide. They are associated with joyfulness and happiness, but they can also be viewed as a sign of caution or danger because the color evokes excitement, power, and boldness. 

Orange osmanthus blooms also symbolize: 

  • Health
  • Vitality
  • Good fortune
  • Optimism 

How Do You Describe Osmanthus? (PAA)

Osmanthus can be described as a flower that conveys a sense of spring, contentment, and belonging. The fusion of suede-like notes, roasted apricots, and a rich buttery undertone is quite complex. 

Because of their unique smell, they are often used to create a peachy-apricot-smelling perfume. They also go great in tea and can also be used to flavor chai. Osmanthus blossoms are edible and possess a sweet, fruity taste and smell. 

Osmanthus Flower FAQs

Are Osmanthus Flowers Toxic?

Phenylethanoid glycoside, a component of Osmanthus extract, was examined in a study published in the National Library of Medicine and found no adverse effects on health. As the blooms are non-toxic, the flower is safe for:

– Eating
– Application on bare skin
– Cultivation around pets and livestock

What Are the Benefits of Osmanthus Tea?

Osmanthus tea is a common cleansing agent in Chinese herbal medicine. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, osmanthus tea may help improve memory and cognitive function. Osmanthus tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve conditions such as eczema and ease menstrual pain. 

What Is Osmanthus Used For?

Osmanthus is perfect for cultural celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, and new additions to the family. Besides being a tasty ingredient in cooking, it also adds aesthetic appeal to the home and garden as an ornamental shrub. As a tattoo, osmanthus can represent good fortune, romance, or family. 

What Are the Benefits of Osmanthus Tea?

Osmanthus tea is a common cleansing agent in Chinese herbal medicine. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, osmanthus tea may help improve memory and cognitive function. Osmanthus tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve conditions such as eczema and ease menstrual pain.

What Is Osmanthus Used For?

Osmanthus is perfect for cultural celebrations such as birthdays, weddings, and new additions to the family. Besides being a tasty ingredient in cooking, it also adds aesthetic appeal to the home and garden as an ornamental shrub. As a tattoo, osmanthus can represent good fortune, romance, or family. 

What Is the Maximum Size of Osmanthus?

Osmanthus grows in small to medium shrubs or trees that grow from 1.5-2.5 meters (5-8 ft) in height, with some species growing as high as 3.6 meters (12 ft). As dense shrubbery, they can grow up to 3 meters wide, spreading their leaves to around 0.10-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in diameter. As a general rule, osmanthus grows at an average rate of 7.8-15.7 inches (20-40 cm) per year in an optimal growing environment.

Are Osmanthus Flowers Seasonal?

The osmanthus’s entire bloom growth grows between September and October. The shrub leaves change in color from yellow to red starting in September. Osmanthus shrubs have leaves all year round and are perennials, meaning their flowers bloom for three or more growing seasons. 

Where Does Osmanthus Grow?

There are natural populations of Osmanthus in Taiwan, Japan, China, and the Himalayas. Its popularity has brought it across the seas to other parts of Asia, Europe, and the USA. For example, a particular strain of osmanthus made its way to Tennessee and has been there for years. 

Conclusion

Osmanthus flowers are one of the most fragrant flowers in the world. Thought to represent good luck and prosperity, they are significant in rituals and celebrations. 

Their popularity has spread to other parts of the world, making them a staple in herbal medicine, teas, and perfume. Grow them in your garden or use them in flower arrangements for love, marriage, beauty, and charm. The yellow and orange flowers are ideal for bouquets and mixed bouquets, so you can choose whichever colors you like most!

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