Devilwood – Osmanthus americanus
Evergreen shrub or small tree with narrow, oblong crown of paired, glossy, leathery leaves, and with dark blue fruit like small olives.
Height: 30’ / Diameter: 1’
Leaves: opposite; lance-shaped to narrowly elliptical; thick and leathery; with edges straight or turned under, and obscure side veins. Shiny green above, dull and paler beneath.
Bark: gray, thin, scaly, exposing dark red inner bark.
Flowers: bell-shaped 4-lobed whitish or yellowish corolla; very fragrant; almost stalkless; in branching clusters of many flowers each; bloom in early spring. Male and females on separate plants.
Habitat: moist soils from river valleys to sandy uplands and dunes; in understory of forests. Range: SE.
Devilwood was named because the fine-textured wood is difficult to split and work. The fruit resembles the cultivated Olive in the same family.