Olea europaea africana

Olea europaea africana


Common Names

African Olive (english)
Olienhout (afrikaans)
Mutwari (venda)
Motlhware (tswana)
Umnqumo (zulu)


Genus Olea
Species europaea
Sub Specie africana
SA Plant Number 617
Basionym Olea europaea africana


Olea europaea africana is a very hardy, evergreen, drought resistant tree with gorgeous silvery foliage and a rounded crown.

It bears scented, greenish flowers from October to December followed by delicious edible small black Olives (these can be eaten directly from the tree and need no treatment to make them edible).

It is an excellent bird and insect tree that is much favoured by wildlife.Birds love to probe under the rough dark bark for insects.

This neat decorative garden tree can cope with very adverse growing conditions and the addition of two handfuls of lime in the soil when planting will promote faster growth.

Older specimens develop a very wide crown therefore it needs space. Plant in well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. It makes a beautiful avenue plant or single specimen plant.

Scadoxus puniceus (Paint Brush) bulbs grow very well in the shade of its canopy. Beautiful bonsai can be created with this tree.

The timber is also beautiful and much sought after by craftsmen. It has many magical and medicinal uses.

Size 5 to 10m 


Wildlife Garden Tree:

Flowers attract insects for pollen and nectar. The insects in turn attract insect-eating birds. Fruit also attracts many frugivorous birds and many insects.


Popular wood with carpenters, particularly for furniture and cabinet making.
Used as a good disease-resistant stock onto which the cultivated olive is grafted.


Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape

Associated with Termite Mounds, Forested Ravines, Rocky Outcrops, Rugged Mountainsides, Woodland


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