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Devilwood (Osmanthus americanus)

Devilwood Tree If you attended the UT Arboretum Society spring plant sale in April, you may have noticed a small evergreen tree across from the Program Shelter bearing clusters of small, very fragrant flowers. This tree, planted in 1965, is a specimen of Devilwood (also known as Wild Olive). It is a native of the Southeastern U.S., mainly found along the coastal plain. It belongs to the Oleaceae (Olive plant family) as do a number of other familiar plants, such as Forsythia, Privet, Ash, Lilac, and Fringe Tree.

Devilwood Flowers Devilwood Bark Devilwood has grayish-brown bark and shiny, simple, leathery, leaves that are opposite in arrangement. It flowers in early spring, and the dark blue fruits, resembling olives, mature in the fall. The fruits are eaten by birds and other wildlife and may persist for much of the winter. Devilwood typically grows to heights of 15-25 ft., but can occasionally reach 30-40 ft. The fine textured wood is extremely difficult to split - hence the common name Devilwood because it is "devilishly hard to split!"

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu