desert-olive Oleaceae Forestiera
pubescens Nutt. symbol: FOPU2
Leaf: Opposite, simple, obovate to elliptical, 1 to 2 inches long, entire to serrated, green above and slightly paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; very small, lacking petals, light yellow-green, appearing in axillary clusters before the leaves.
Fruit: Elliptical, dark blue, glaucous drupe 1/4 inch long, occuring in a tight cluster close to the stem, ripen in early summer.
Twig: Slender, light gray-brown to geenish brown, numerous lighter lenticels, stiff with short opposite side branches; buds small, light reddish brown and pointed.
Bark: Smooth, light brown to gray.
Form: A dense, thicket forming shrub with often drooping branches, reaches up to 15 feet with numerous stiff "thorny" side branches.
Looks like: devilwood
Additional Range Information: Forestiera pubescens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting desert-olive.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson