African Olive

Botanical name: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata
Noxious Weed Category: Class 4

African Olive African Olive
Source: Adam Burrowes Photo: Adam Burrowes


Originating from South Africa, African Olive is a small evergreen tree 2 - 15m high. Often grown as a garden ornamental and as a hedge, it is now a major environmental weed particularly on clay soils and is well established in Western Sydney.

Drooping branchlets and narrow, dark green lance-shaped leaves, 5-10cm long and 2cm wide with a recurved (hooked) tip. Younger leaves have tiny brown scales on the underside.

White to cream tubular flowers, flowering in spring at the junction of the leaves and the stem.
Green berries in winter ripening to purple-black. Produces thousands of seeds.


Foxes and birds eat the small black "olives".

Impact on bushland

Invades dunes, headlands and bushland.

Control Measure

The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that reduces its numbers, spread and incidence and continuously inhibits its reproduction. The plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.



  • Small seedlings should be removed by hand.
  • Mature trees may be cut and painted, or stem scraped and painted using an undiluted glyphosate-based product.
  • Will resprout if lopped. Berries should be bagged.

See Manual Weed Control Techniques.

Chemical: Please contact your local control authority for advice on chemical control.


Attack of the Killer Weeds Coastcare, Weeds in the Mulgoa Valley, Mulgoa Valley Landcare Group

Source: Pittwater Council 

Upcoming Events