This small to medium tree is widespread but rare through the Robertson rainforest patches. It can be recognized by its dense crown of fairly small (3-8 cm), very stiff, serrated leaves. The underside of the leaf is covered with fine, rusty coloured hairs and prominent veins. The alternate leaves taper towards both ends and the leaf stalk is short (less than 1 cm long).
The small, white flowers, about 0.5 cm long, are seen in summer. They hang down but the 5 petals are not fringed like those of the closely related Blueberry Ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus). The black, olive-shaped fruit, less than-1 cm long, ripens in autumn-winter.
Black Oliveberry can be propagated from cuttings but germination from seed is sporadic and can take up to 12 months. For this reason, any trees that are found should be specially protected. This attractive species grows well and could be planted more often as an ornamental tree.
Distribution: East GippsIand (Vic) to Northern Tablelands (NSW).