Osmanthus is an evergreen shrub or small tree, with a number of varieties with different leaves. The heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ variant for example can easily be mistaken for an Ilex. Other varieties grow fruit which is black or blue in colour, while others have differing colours of leaves. Flowers can also be produced.

The plant should be placed in full sun or partial shade, and is find in any position which is well-drained. It is a particularly good fit for woodland gardens.

In terms of spread, the shrub can reach a height and width of two and a half metres, but pruning before growth starts in Spring will help keep the shape.