The Wild olive is regarded as a small fruited subspecies of the commercial olive. Wind-, drought- and frost–resistant, this evergreen tree can be found in almost every region of South Africa.
Although a slow grower, the Wild olive can reach a height of 8 to 9 m. The tree has a dense, spreading crown of shiny grey-green to dark green foliage that is silvery in colour underneath. Sprays of white to creamy flowers appear from October to February and are lightly scented. The flowers are tiny and will attract bees to your garden. Small, round fruit appear from March to July and ripen to a glossy black. The tree is an asset in a wildlife friendly garden as the edible fruit lure birds and animals, while the leaves are also browsed by game and stock.
The root system of the Olea Africana can occasionally be aggressive and care should be taken when planting close to walls or a swimming pool.
The Wild olive is very hardy and can withstand drought and frost conditions. It is an ideal tree for screening purposes and can be utilised as a fodder tree on game farms and lodges.