Virginia Tech Dendrology

black olive Combretaceae Bucida buceras L. Listen to the Latin symbol: BUBU
Leaf: Alternate, simple, leathery, evergreen, obovate, entire, green above and below, to 4 inches long and 1 inch wide, tufted at the branch tips.
Flower: Borne in the spring on slender 3-4 inch spikes, individual flowers creamy yellow-white, 1/4 inch, urn-shaped, fragrant and attractive to bees.
Fruit: Urn-shaped, leathery, 1/4 to 1/2 inch, reddish-brown to dark brown, borne in drooping clusters, maturing mid to late summer.
Twig: Slender, gray-brown, with consistent branch angles of 30 degrees, may have short spines.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray-brown, becoming irregularly rough or scaly.
Form: A medium size tree to 50 feet with an upright trunk and a broad, dense crown.
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Bucida buceras is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting black olive.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
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