European Olive

This particular specimen of the European Olive Tree is one of the oldest trees in the Government House Gardens.

Believed to have been planted in 1835 by WA’s first Governor Sir James Stirling, it is considered the grand old lady of the Gardens and is a favourite with staff and visitors alike.

This particular Olive Tree would have been growing alongside the first Government House to be built on this site in 1838.

Native to Mediterranean Europe, Asia and Africa the Olea europa is characterised by a trunk that is typically gnarled and twisted in shape. It has silvery green leaves and bears a small white flower that produces green olive fruit, before turning black when ready for picking.

Governor Weld (1869-1875) hosted Bishop Salvado as a house guest when he arrived from Spain on his way to establish a new monastery at New Norcia. It is believed that some of the seedlings from this and other original Government House olive trees were taken by the Bishop and used to help establish olive groves at New Norcia. 

In the early mornings the tree is often filled with birdlife, in particular our resident rainbow lorikeets, who make the most of the impromptu ‘baths’ that form in the ruts and crevices at the centre of this majestic olive tree following rains or reticulation. 

European Olive - Planted 1835
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