The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

False Olive tree

Afrikaans name: Witolienhout

False Olive tree

False Olive tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Buddleja saligna

The False Olive tree is a fairly dense shrub that can reach a height of 9 metres but is more often 5 metres in height. It is found in many areas across South Africa apart from the more arid regions. Quite often this tree is found singly in wooded areas and on rocky slopes but they may be found in small groups near watercourses. The False Olive tree may have one or more stems but either way it has lots of branches. The branches grow upwards then droop down towards the end. During early summer it gets covered in cream-coloured flowers. The flowers attract lots of bees and moths. The leaves are long and slender and are pointed at the tips. The wood used to be used to make shafts for assegais but nowadays it is used more for fence posts. The False Olive tree is quite a popular tree amongst gardeners and is a good species for bonsai enthusiasts.

Bark of the False Olive tree

Bark of the False Olive tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Published: 1983 - Page: 301

Everyones Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Published: 1989 - Page: 95

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 165

Indigenous Garden Plants of Southern Africa - Author: Glenice Ebedes - Published: 2017 - Page: 16

SA 4X4 - Vol 21 No 2 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 62

Sappi Tree Spotting: Highveld and the Drakensburg - Author: Val Thomas and Rina Grant - Published: 1998 - Page: 84

Sappi Wild Flower Guide - Mpumalanga and Northern Province - Author: Jo Onderstall - Published: 1996 - Page: 158

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Published: 1994 - Page: 422

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 206

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Published: 2002 - Page: 939

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 99


Got a comment about the content on this page?

This website features affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2023. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use