Plant of the Week
Also known as Texas Olive or Anacahuita, this plant is not related to the true olive, but it does produce a similar-looking fruit. And even though the fruit of the Mexican olive is not palatable, its foliage and fragrant flowers make this a show-off shrub for us!
Although it has a shrubby habit, you can prune it as a tree. Or, develop its shrubby habit as a natural screen.
In normally frost-free regions such as south Texas, it will remain evergreen and can get up to 20' feet tall and almost as wide. But in areas that typically see at least a few periods of freezing temperatures, Mexican olive will be smaller and deciduous or evergreen, depending on the weather.
Mexican olive loves the heat and the full, bright sun. It does require good drainage. It's very drought tough, so it doesn't need much water after it's established.
Large white fragrant flowers cover it from late spring to frost, attracting many pollinators and hummingbirds. It produces white fruit that resemble olives. While they are edible, the olives are not enjoyable for us, but wildlife will appreciate them.
It can be rather messy when the booms and fruit drop off, so it's not the best choice for a driveway or pool.