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A picture of a Olive Buddleia

Olive Buddleia

Buddleja saligna

Also known as

False Olive, Bastard Olive

Buddleja saligna, bloeiwyse, Skeerpoort, b by JMK (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Olive Buddleia

Buddleja saligna, False olive, Witolien, flowers
Buddleja saligna, False olive, Witolien, flowers
Buddleja saligna, False olive, Witolien, flowers
Buddleja saligna, False olive, Witolien, flowers
Buddleja saligna, False olive, Witolien, flowers

Olive Buddleia Overview

Buddleja or (Buddleia saligna) is also known as the False or Bastard Olive, or Olive Buddleia. It is an attractive, evergreen, flowering, bushy tree that produces clusters of small creamy-white flowers. They form at the end of branches in spring and summer and have a strong honey scent that attracts many insects. Following flowering, the fruit produced is an ovoid capsule, about 2mm long, and pale yellowish-brown when mature. Buddleja saligna grows relatively fast, especially in warm, moist areas, and can reach up to 10m tall. Indigenous to South Africa, it grows in varied habitats including forest margins, wooded valleys, dry hillsides, in coastal bush and along streams. The False Olive is an excellent water-wise and pioneer tree and grows quickly to form a screen or hedge. It is frost hardy, drought-resistant and will grow in most soils. It also does not have an aggressive root system, and if you want to attract wildlife - especially bees - this Buddleia tree is a must-have for your planting list. False Olive gets its common name from its long, narrow leaves that look very similar to the olive tree. In traditional medicine, concoctions made from the leaves were used to treat coughs and colds.

Common problems with Olive Buddleia

False olive is generally not bothered by pests or diseases.

How to harvest Olive Buddleia

The flowers can be harvested and used in flower arrangements.

How to propagate Olive Buddleia


Hardwood cuttings, take 5-10 cm long cuttings with at least four leaves and dip in rooting hormone powder. Remove bottom leaves and place in sandy rooting mix.


The seeds are fine. Mix with sand, in fine seedling mix for an even distribution in seedling trays. Germination takes 4 weeks. Stand tray in water & remove when surface is wet.

Special features of Olive Buddleia

Drought resistant

The plant is very drought tolerant but flourishes when watered thoroughly.

Hedge plant

This tree can grow 3–4 m in a few years, providing excellent screening in the shortest possible time. You can even shape it into a hedge from a young age.

Attractive flowers

Wind break

Attracts birds

This tree is a firm favourite with beekeepers.


Attracts useful insects

Butterflies use the False Olive as host, and moths visit in evenings - soon leading to birds visiting your garden too.

Other uses of Olive Buddleia

Hedges and flowers have a honey scent that attracts insects and moths.


The plant is used for traditional medicinal purposes, the roots as a purgative and the leaves to treat coughs and colds.

White Flowering Summer Plants

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