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Namibia


Wild Olive

Trees of Namibia

Utilized by man and beast alike, the wild olive is fairly widespread in Namibia and is found mostly in woodland, near ravines and on stream banks and in stony areas. It is an evergreen, small to medium-sized (5-14m) tree. In the open, the trunk is gnarled and twisted and in forest it is tall with a widely spreading crown.

The bark is rough and dark grey in colour. The leaves are opposite and variable, dark green above, silvery-grey below with indistinct veins. Flowers are small and scented and in loose inflorescences, up to 60mm long. The fruits are oval and ripen black from March-August.

Livestock and game are particularly fond of fresh and fallen leaves and the fruits are eaten by birds, animals and humans. The leaves, along with bark are used in traditional medicine. The wild olive is a termite resistant timber, popular in the manufacture of furniture, ornaments and carving and makes excellent firewood as well as fence posts. The fruits are bitter, but edible and the sap is used as ink.

Wild olive are grown from seed for gardens, street trees and bonsai. They are both drought and frost resistant.

Trees of Namibia

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Zebra River Lodge

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