~ False Olive Tree
Buddleja saligna. Evergreen, small tree, with honey scented flowers. The false olive can get up to 30 ft tall in warm moist areas. The leaves are long and narrow – somewhat similar to the olive from which it gets its common name – but more textured. The flowers are tiny, creamy white and borne in dense sprays usually at the ends of branches. The flowers have a lovely honey scent and appear from spring to summer (August- January). The seeds are minute, forming in small, hairy capsules which develop in the dried out flowers. (October – March)
The plant is used for traditional medicinal purposes, the roots as a purgative and the leaves to treat coughs and colds. The wood is very fine grained and was used to make small pieces of furniture. The straight branches were used to make fence posts. The false olive was used to make asseggai handles. It also makes good fuel wood as it burns with an intense heat. The large amounts of pollen and nectar it produces makes it popular with bee farmers.
This fast growing tree is an excellent, quick screen plant. Use it as a pioneer tree for your forest garden. It also makes a very good clipped hedge. It may need cutting back after flowering to keep tidy. The false olive does not have an aggressive root system.