Wild olive, Anacahuita

Cordia boissieri


The wild olive, also known as Texas olive grows into a large evergreen shrub or low branching tree that can commonly reaches 10-12 ft. tall and as wide. Large, 5 in. long leaves are medium green above, pale green below and covered with numerous short hairs that produce a rough surface. Showy white flowers with yellow centers are 1 1/2 in. in size and occur in clusters at the ends of branches in early spring; large yellow-green olive-like fruit mature in summer.

Wild olive comes from dry southern parts of New Mexico and Texas, extending into Mexico where it tolerates temperatures below 20°F, heat, full sun and drought. This southwestern native is well suited to southwestern style garden plantings as a small specimen tree and on slopes and banks. It prefers well-drained soils, sunny locations and performs best with moderate amounts of supplemental water during winter and spring and less during summer. Some old specimens have been able to grow 20-30 ft. tall after many years.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Low-branching, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Rocky soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Frost, Drought, Cold hardy, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Slopes, Screening, Residential spaces, Parks and open space, Foundations, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Background plant
Height: 10 ft. – 12 ft.
Width: 10 ft. – 12 ft.