Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Phillyrea latifolia L.

Fully-hardy, dense, rounded shrub or small tree with glossy, oval leaves, to 6cm long, and cymes, to 1cm across, of fragrant but inconspicuous greenish white flowers in spring and summer, followed by blue-black fruit.  To 9m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Cultivated in Britain by John Gerard since at least 1597.  [PD].  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.72/1825.

History at Camden Park

Listed as Phillyrea latifolia only in the 1857 catalogue [T.749/1857] but Olea latifolia was presented to the Sydney Botanic Gardens by Edward Macarthur in 1824 [RBGS AB].  It seems likely that it was grown at Camden under the name Phillyrea latifolia earlier than 1857, an hypothesis supported by an 1836 Loddiges’ catalogue held at Camden Park in which Phillyrea latifolia is marked with a ‘c’, denoting grown at Camden.


Phillyrea latifolia Sibth. & Sm. (1806) = Phillyrea media L.

Published Jan 20, 2010 - 04:16 PM | Last updated Jan 20, 2010 - 04:23 PM

Figured are the elliptic, olive-like leaves and axillary cymes of tiny greenish flowers.  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.72, 1825.

Phillyrea latifolia L. | Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.72/1825 | BHL

Family Oleaceae
Region of origin

Mediterranean to south west Asia

  • Olea latifolia Salisb.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Phillyrea latifolia 

Confidence level high