Forestiera pubescens

Desert Olive

Plant family: Oleaceae - Olive


Plant type: Shrub, Tree

Plant origin: N/A, California

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One Gallon 0   14.99
Five gallon - Natural 0   44.99

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Flower Color Green-Yellow
Blooming Season Spring
Height 5-15 feet
Spread 5-10 feet
Sun / Shade   
Monthly Water
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Wildlife Friendliness Rating
Plant Community > Learn More

Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, Creosote Bush Scrub, Desert, Oak Woodland, Riparian

Best Soil Conditions > Learn More

Sand, Sandy Loam, Rocky

Special Characteristic

Attracts Wildlife, Hedges and Screens

Plant Highlights

Desert olive is a highly recommended but underutilized small tree. This small, multi-trunked tree has satiny smooth white bark and small, bright green deciduous leaves that turn a bright yellow in fall before defoliating for the winter. It is related to the much used European olive but is more cold hardy, more tolerant of poor soils, and is much friendlier to our native birds. Desert olives are adapted to a wide variety of California plant communities, thus making it highly adaptable for the home garden. The small chartreuse flowers that appear in spring are fragrant. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Male trees are fantastic patio and street trees as they do not bear fruit. Female trees are great habitat plants as they produce abundant amounts of blue-black berries that birds and many other small animals relish. Plant in full sun or partial shade in well draining soil and it will grow rapidly to its full size of 9-12’ feet tall and 5-8’ wide. Nice as an informal hedge in hot, dry locations. Looks best with some water.

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