African Olive

Olea Europaea Subsp. Cuspidata

A Hidden Foe: Your Guide to Identifying and Removing African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata)


The African Olive may sound like a plant of cultural or culinary interest, but in reality, it's a significant invasive species that poses a threat to the ecosystems of the Nambucca Valley. Native to Africa, this species is particularly hardy and can thrive in various conditions, outcompeting local flora.

Identification Guide

Key Features

Oval, leathery leaves that are dark green on top and silvery underneath
Small, creamy-white flowers
Fruits resemble small olives, changing from green to black as they mature


Can be confused with native olives; however, the leathery texture of the leaves is a distinguishing feature.


African Olive prefers woodland and scrub areas but can also thrive in open fields and disturbed lands.

Impact on Local Ecosystem

  • Flora: Competes with and displaces native plants.
  • Fauna: Affects native animal habitats by creating dense thickets.
  • Economic: Landholders may find the plant costly and challenging to manage effectively.

Removal Methods

  • Mechanical: Young plants can be removed by hand, while older trees may require chainsaws.
  • Chemical: Herbicides such as glyphosate can be effective when applied correctly.

Safety Precautions

Always wear appropriate protective gear, including gloves and eye protection.
Keep children and pets away from areas where chemicals are being applied.


Securely bag all removed plant matter and dispose of it in a designated invasive species disposal facility.


Regular property inspections and early removal are key.
Consider using native plants that can compete effectively against African Olive.

Collaborative Efforts

Community-led initiatives and government programs are often available to help manage invasive species like the African Olive. Participation can offer added resources and expertise.


The African Olive may seem innocuous but is a significant threat to native ecosystems in the Nambucca Valley. Proper identification and immediate action are crucial to mitigating its impact.

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