Phillyrea, a short olive-like tree for hardy climates


Phillyrea is a new olive-like short shrub. It’s great for growing where winters are cold.

Phillyrea facts, a short list

Name – Phillyrea
Family – Oleaceae
Type – shrub

 – 16 to 23 feet (5 to 7 meters)
Exposure – full sun to shade

Soil: – ordinary  –  Foliage: evergreen  –  Flowering: end of spring, early summer

Planting phillyrea

In fall or spring for potted shrubs.

For plants purchased with their roots bare, plant them in fall soon after buying them.

Follow our advice on planting shrubs

Pruning phillyrea

Follow our advice on pruning shrubs.

Don’t prune in spring, wait for the blooming to fade away to reshape your shrub.

Comments about Phillyrea

Phillyrea fruitsAn extremely hardy plant, Phillyrea can cope with all kinds of soil, emplacements and weather patterns. It’s native to the Mediterranean area.

This is the ideal “fill-the-spot” shrub that requires practically no care at all. For those who miss growing an olive tree because their weather is too cold, this is the perfect look-alike!

You can set it up as a standalone, merge it into a shrub bed or create hedges with it, since it is so easy to prune.

Phillyrea species and varieties

Species and types of phillyreaThere are several species you can find in garden stores, but it isn’t a very common plant overall. You might find:

  • Phillyrea angustifolia: longer leaves, leathery, nearly identical to those of olive. Also called narrow-leaved mock privet.
  • Phillyrea latifolia: shorter, stouter leaves that are a shiny deep green color. Another name for this species is Green olive tree.

Read also:

Smart tip about Phillyrea

Phillyrea fruits are very small, about a quarter-inch across (6 mm). They’re not particularly edible, but they aren’t toxic, either.

Images: CC BY 4.0: Denis Bastianelli; Public Domain: anbalemans, Aaron S.