Skip to main content

Olea europaea L.

Sp.Pl. 1:8 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Tree, 1-15 m high. Fl. white, Oct to Nov.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 30 September 1997


IBRA Regions
Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
Central West Coast, Leeuwin-Naturaliste.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Busselton, Canning, Cockburn, Harvey, Joondalup, Manjimup, Mosman Park, Mundaring, Murray, Nedlands, Perth.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

General Biology. Growth form. Tree. Reproduction. Seed, suckers. Dispersal. Birds, mammals. Time to first flowering. Normally 10-12 years, under irrigation 4-5 years. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts from base and can produces root suckers. Woody structure. Diffuse porous. Seedbank persistence. Long, 5+ years. Fire response. Fire kills young plants but older plants will resprout following fire.

Notes. A serious bushland weed in South Australia. Forms mixed age thickets that virtually preclude native plant recruitment. Eastern Australian populations have been introduced from South Africa (ssp. cupidata) and South Australian and Western Australian populations have originated in Europe (ssp. europea).

Additional information. Origin. Mediterranean. History of use/introduction. Garden escape, commercial plantations.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull or dig out seedlings and small plants ensuring removal of all roots. For mature plants cut to base and paint 50% glyphosate or apply 250 ml Access® in 15 L of diesel to base 50 cm of trunk (basal bark). Monitor sites for seedling recruitment. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Flowering               O Y Y Y O  
Fruiting     Y Y Y Y Y Y          
Germination       Y Y Y Y            
Optimum Treatment O O Y Y Y O       Y Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Animal and Plant Control Commission, South Australia (1999) Risk assessment and management of olives. Animal and Plant Control Commission, South Australia A paper developed in consultation with the Olives Advisory Group.
  • Besnard, G., Henry, P., Wille, L., Cooke, D. & Chapuis, E. (2007) On the origin of the invasive olives (Olea europaea L., Oleaceae). Heredity, 99 (6): 608-619.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Crossman, N.D. (2002) The impact of the European olive (Olea europaea L. subsp. europaea) on grey box (Eucalyptus microcarpa Maiden) woodland in South Australia. Plant Protection Quarterly, 17 (4): 140 -146.
  • Cuneo, P. & Leishman, M.R. (2006) African olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata ) as an environmental weed in eastern Australia: a review. Cunninghamia, 9: 545-577.
  • Hanson, C.S.T. (2002) A weed risk minimisation strategy for the European olive, Olea europaea ssp. europaea, in Tasmania. Proceedings from the 13th Australian Weeds Conference (eds H. Spafford Jacob, J. H. Moore). Plant Protection Society of WA, Perth.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Muyt, A. (2001) Bush invaders of South-East Australia: A guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South-East Australia. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Navie, S. & Adkins, S. (2008) Environmental Weeds of Australia, An interactive identification and information resource for over 1000 invasive plants. Centre for Biological Information Technology, The University of Queensland.
  • Parsons, W.T. & Cuthbertson, E.G. (2001) Noxious weeds of Australia. 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  • Shelden, M. & Sinclair, R. (2000) Water relations of feral olive trees (Olea europaea) resprouting after severe pruning. Australian Journal of Botany, 48: 639-644.
  • Spennemann, D. H. R. & Allen, L. R. (2000) Feral olives (Olea europaea) as future woody weeds in Australia: a review. Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 40 (6): 889-901.
  • Von Richter, L., Little, D. & Benson, D. (2005) Effects of low intensity fire on the resprouting of the weed Olive (Olea europea subsp. cuspidata) in Cumberland Plain Woodland, western Sydney. Ecological Management and Restoration, 6 (3): 230-232.