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Olea europaea subsp. africana

African Olive

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Key information




Half hardy

Skill level


photo by John Glover
, copyright GAP Photos (15072)

Plant details

Very closely related to the European Olive, the African Olive, can be identified by its smaller, but still edible, fruit. Popular with people, as well as monkeys, mongooses and warthogs, the plant is tough and drought tolerant. With dull-grey to green leaves and a smooth trunk, the plant is highly ornamental in its own right, with the added benefit of retaining its leaves throughout the winter months. Like the European Olive, the plant is hardy in the milder regions of the country, where it should be grown in full sun in a well drained spot. Plants will benefit from occasional doses of liquid fertiliser during the summer months.

Family: Oleaceae

Genus: Olea

Species: europaea subsp. africana

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Fruit

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 150cm

Spread: 100cm

Reader reviews


I have an Olive bush, about 3 years old and it looks rather sorry for itself. There appears to be no new growth and it's lost alot of it's older leaves. Is it dead, or is there something i can do to save it???


Could you tell me if I can take cuttings from my olive tree.If so what method do I use?


I am not sure what type of Olive tree I have but after moving it from my old house it really didn't like the cold winter and I almost gave up on it... until last week when it sprouted some new growth. So hold in there paulsuttle, there may be hope yet.


I have a couple of olive trees which i bought earlier in the is growing lovely and green but no fruit, the other has yellow leaves with fruit. What am i doing wrong with both of them...i want green trees with fruit.
I feed with a seaweed extract about once a fortnight.

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