Buddleja saligna

Common names: False Olive

Buddleja saligna looks like a small tree or large shrub that is very versatile and suited for smaller gardens. This plant is widespread throughout South Africa, however naturally occurs in the Bushveld, dry Forest margins and wooded grasslands. 

This hardy evergreen tree makes for an excellent hedge, screen, windbreak and/or waterside plant. It is fast-growing, drought-resistant, and a dense, bushy shrub or tree. 

The stem of the tree/shrub is fluted with pale, grey-brown bark that appears flaky. The crown is heavily branched with a drooping habit. Buddleja saligna’s foliage is textured with a hairless dark green top surface and has a whitish underside. The leaves have a long, narrow shape like the olive tree, hence the common name of “False Olive”. 

Sweetly scented white to cream flowers appear in dense clusters during Spring and Summer. The flowers are carried on the ends of the branches and attracts bees, butterflies and birds to the garden. The flowers also produce large amounts of pollen and nectar, making it an ideal tree for bee farmers. 

Buddleja saligna grows easily in any soil.  Simply add plenty of compost for better results. It tolerates light pruning, has a non-aggressive root system and can be used as a pioneer tree in younger gardens because it is fast growing. 

Buddleja saligna can be propagated by cuttings or seed and is an excellent choice for new gardens as its rapid growth provides quick shade, a privacy screen and protection from wind. 

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