Forestiera pubescens

Desert olive

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 8' X 8'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



The desert olive is one of California’s great little trees. It grows no taller than ten feet, is very easy to grow and tolerates extreme drought. It inhabits hot and dry areas of the Southwest, reaching its northern extent in the Diablo Range of the SF Bay Area. Desert olive grows as an upright, multi-trunked tree with bright green deciduous foliage held against light gray bark. With pruning it can be kept low or shaped into a single trunk tree. The flowers are yellow and white, and the fruit are a waxy purple, a reminder of the desert olive’s European cousin. Plant desert olive in a sunny, well-draining location, water for the first year, and then leave it alone. It will thrive and grow rapidly. Flower and fruit-set might be hindered by a cool setting, so provide as much heat and sun as possible. You may want to plant desert oiive away from structures that may be discolored by the fruit.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous