Cartrema americana

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American olive
Osmanthus americanus leaves.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Cartrema
C. americanus
Binomial name
Cartrema americanus
(L.) G.L.Nesom[2]
Osmanthus americanus range map.jpg
US range
  • Amarolea americana (L.) Small
  • Cartrema odorata Raf.
  • Olea americana L.
  • Olea laeta Salisb.
  • Osmanthus americanus (L.) A.Gray
  • Osmanthus americanus var. microphyllus P.S.Green
  • Osmanthus mexicanus Lundell
  • Pausia americana (L.) Raf.
  • Pausia odorata Raf.

Cartrema americana, commonly called American olive,[3] wild olive,[3] or devilwood,[3] is an evergreen shrub or small tree[3] native to southeastern North America, in the United States from Virginia to Texas, and in Mexico from Nuevo León south to Oaxaca and Veracruz.[4][5]

Cartrema americana was formerly classified as Osmanthus americanus. Following the discovery that Osmanthus was polyphyletic,[6] it was transferred to the segregate genus Cartrema together with Osmanthus floridanus[7] and five Asian species.[8]

Cartrema americana grows to 4–7 m (13–23 ft), rarely to 11 m (36 ft) tall. The leaves are 5–14 cm (2.0–5.5 in) long and 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) broad, with an entire margin. Its flowers, produced in early spring, are small (1 cm long), white, with a four-lobed corolla and have a strong fragrance. The fruit is a globose dark blue drupe 6–15 mm (0.24–0.59 in) diameter, containing a single seed.[9][10][11]

It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens for its fragrant flowers.


  1. ^ "NatureServe Explorer 2.0 - Osmanthus americanus, Wild Olive". Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Cartrema americana (L.) G.L.Nesom". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  3. ^ a b c d Bailey, L.H.; Bailey, E.Z.; the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium (1976). Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-02-505470-7.
  4. ^ "Cartrema americana". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Osmanthus americanus
  6. ^ Shi-Quan Guo, Min Xiong, Chun-Feng Ji, Zhi-Rong Zhang, De-Zhu Li and Zhi-Yong Zhang, Molecular phylogenetic reconstruction of Osmanthus Lour. (Oleaceae) and related genera based on three chloroplast intergenic spacers, Plant Syst Evol (2011) 294:57–64
  7. ^ Nesom, G.L. 2012. Synopsis of American Cartrema (Oleaceae). Phytoneuron 2012-96: 1–11.
  8. ^ José Ignacio De Juana Clavero, Cambios nomenclaturales en la sección Leiolea (Spach) P. S. Green, del género Osmanthus Lour. (Oleaceae), Bouteloua 22: 28-39 (XI-2015)
  9. ^ Weaver, R. E. (2003). Botany Section. Tri-ology 42 (6): 1-16 pdf file Archived 2007-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Centenary College Virtual Arboretum, Louisiana: Osmanthus americanus Archived 2006-09-14 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.