Olea europaea L.
subsp. cuspidata (Wall ex G. Don) Cif.

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Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Upper part of Hill Complex, Great Zimbabwe

Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Upper part of Hill Complex, Great Zimbabwe

Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Upper part of Hill Complex, Great Zimbabwe

Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Upper part of Hill Complex, Great Zimbabwe

Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Upper part of Hill Complex, Great Zimbabwe

Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along Zvishavane - Mbalabala road

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Olea africana Mill.
Olea chrysophylla Lam.
Olea europaea L. subsp. africana (Mill.) P.S. Green
Common names: African olive (English) Mupfungo (Shona) Mupfuri (Shona) Umguma (Ndebele) Umnquma (Ndebele) Wild olive (English)
Frequency:
Status: Native
Description:
Shrub or small to medium-sized evergreen tree with a rounded crown. Bark, grey to brown, smooth when young but rough and deeply fissured on older trees; young branches 4-angled. Leaves opposite, linear-lanceolate to narrowly oblong-elliptic, up to c. 10 cm long, grey-green to dark green above, with a silvery to golden-brown layer of scales below; apex with a sharp tip, often curled backwards; margin entire, rolled under. Flowers small, in lax axillary, occasionally terminal, heads, greenish-cream, sweetly scented. Fruit ellipsoid, c. 8 × 10 mm, thinly fleshy with a sharp apical tip, red to purple black when ripe.
Notes: Closely related to the commercial olive, Olea europaea subsp. europaea, of the Mediterranean. Our subspecies has much smaller fruits but the commercial olive has been successfully grafted onto our wild trees in South Africa.
Derivation of specific name: europaea: of Europe, referring to the commercial olive;
cuspidata: with a sharp, rigid apical point, which could refer to either the leaves or the fruit.
Habitat: In a variety of woodland and riverine habitats, often near water but also on termite mounds and among rocks.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Oct - Feb
Worldwide distribution: (various subspecies) thoughout Africa, Middle East, India to China. Introduced in Australia.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Palpita vitralis (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Monday 7 March 2016
Literature:

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 220. as Olea europaea africana

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 918 - 919. as subsp. africana (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 92. as subsp. africana

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 267. As Olea africana

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 188 - 189. as Olea europaea subsp. africana (Includes a picture).

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 296 - 297. as subsp. africana (Includes a picture).

Green, P.S. (2002). A Revision of Olea L. (Oleaceae) Kew Bulletin 57(1) Pages 93 - 97.

Green, P.S. & Kupicha, F.K. (1979). Notes on the Genus Olea Kew Bulletin 34(1) Pages 69 - 70. as subsp. africana

Kupicha, F.K. (1983). Oleaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(1) Page 324. as subsp. africana

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 65.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 82. as subsp. africana

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 534 - 537. as subsp. africana (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 90. as Olea europaea africana

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 129.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 76 - 77. as subsp. africana (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 346 - 347. as subsp. africana (Includes a picture).


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Other sources of information about Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata
Flora of Malawi: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata
Flora of Mozambique: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata
Flora of Zambia: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata

External websites:

African Plant Database: Olea europaea
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Olea europaea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Olea europaea
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Olea europaea
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Olea europaea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Olea europaea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Olea europaea
Ispot Southern Africa : Olea europaea
JSTOR Plant Science: Olea europaea
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Olea europaea
Tropicos: Olea europaea
West African Plants database: Olea europaea


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=144170, retrieved 28 July 2016

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