“Osmanthus” refers to a genus of more than 30 flowering trees, most of which are native to the temperate areas of Asia. The flowers grow in small bunches and emit a sweet, pungent odor. Traditionally, dried osmanthus flowers are infused in a black or green tea, but oolong and white tea bases can also be used to create different flavors. Each of these tea bases will also have an effect on the overall health benefits and caffeine content of the mixture. Also called tea olive, fragrant olive or sweet olive, osmanthus has a long history of ornamental and medicinal uses. Osmanthus played a role in traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies as a symbol of love and romance. Osmanthus was initially introduced to Europe by French botanist Jean Delavay during the mid-1800s. The hardy and adaptable qualities of osthmanus, combined with the pleasant fragrance, quickly made it a garden favorite.
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