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Olea europaea 'Little Ollie'

Little Ollie dwarf Olive


Origin and Adaptability: Hailing from the sun-drenched regions of the Mediterranean, Olea europaea 'Little Ollie', commonly known as Dwarf Olive, boasts adaptability to various climates, particularly the desert Southwest, making it an excellent choice for landscapes seeking both elegance and resilience. Produces less than 1% of the pollen as compared to a traditional fruit-bearing olive tree. Evolved in arid conditions, this species thrives in well-drained soils, demonstrating its versatility across a spectrum of landscape designs.

Architectural Form and Foliage:

The Dwarf Olive presents an elegant silhouette with its compact form and evergreen foliage. Its small, silver-green leaves offer a timeless appeal, providing landscape architects with a versatile canvas for design. Whether employed as a standalone feature, a border accent, or as part of a Mediterranean-inspired theme, its foliage adds a touch of sophistication and texture to outdoor spaces.

Floral Display and Growth Speed:

While renowned for its small, inconspicuous flowers, the Dwarf Olive surprises with occasional clusters of tiny, cream-colored blooms, adding subtle charm to its overall aesthetic. With a steady growth rate, this species strikes a balance between prompt establishment and long-term manageability, allowing designers to easily create harmonious landscapes.

Light and Water Requirements:

Reveling in abundant sunlight, the Dwarf Olive thrives when exposed to at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. While it can tolerate partial shade, ample sunlight enhances its growth and flowering potential. As a drought-tolerant plant, consistent watering during establishment ensures robust growth and resilience, particularly in arid or Mediterranean climates.

Wildlife Support and Biodiversity:

Native to the Mediterranean region, Olea europaea 'Little Ollie' contributes to local biodiversity by providing habitat and sustenance for various pollinators, including bees and butterflies. Landscape architects can leverage this ecological benefit to create outdoor spaces that support native wildlife populations. Additionally, its bitter-tasting leaves deter browsing by deer and other herbivores.

Challenges and Considerations:

While generally low-maintenance, designers should consider the Dwarf Olive's mature size and growth habit when planning landscapes. Strategic pruning and shaping can enhance its architectural appeal and promote healthy growth. Additionally, occasional monitoring for pests and diseases ensures the long-term vitality of this species in landscape settings.

Integration into Landscape Designs:

With its compact form, timeless foliage, and moderate growth rate, Olea europaea 'Little Ollie' seamlessly integrates into a variety of landscape designs either as a dwarf tree or shrub. Designers can use it to evoke a Mediterranean ambiance in gardens, as a focal point in courtyard settings, or as a resilient element in coastal landscapes. Its adaptability and aesthetic versatility make it a valuable asset in creating visually appealing and sustainable outdoor environments.

Designing with Dwarf Olive:

Landscape architects can harness the unique attributes of Olea europaea 'Little Ollie', commonly referred to as Dwarf Olive, to craft landscapes that exude elegance and resilience. Whether utilized as a standalone feature or incorporated into mixed plantings, this species adds texture, color, and cultural significance to outdoor spaces. By prioritizing its sunlight needs, water requirements, and growth habits, designers can create dynamic and environmentally conscious landscapes that resonate with clients and communities alike.

USDA Zone Range

8 ti 11

Mature Height


Flower Color

chartreuse, maturing to white

Native Region


dwarf olive tree

Soil Type

well-drained sandy, clay, loam, and rocky soils

Planting Guidelines


Elevation Range

Mature Width


Plant Type

Mediterranean fruit tree

Growth Habit

compact, rounded

Wildlife and Pollinators

birds and bees

Sunlight Requirements

full sun

Water Requirements

drought tolerant once established


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