Olearia - Tree Daisies (aka Ake Ake) are a group of shrubs and trees that are attractive and varied and are particularly tough in dry and windy conditions. This makes them particularly useful for shelter and establishing plants in reasonably difficult situations.
Olearia have interesting colouring with most being muted subtle tones such as lighter greens, blue green, and silvery tones. Many have light undersides on the leaves adding to the lighter colour of the overall bush. Olearias also have rough rustic looking bark, giving them a very tough and rugged look.
As the name suggests, Olearia Tree Daisies become covered in masses of small daisy flowers throughout spring and summer. These are very attractive and add interest to the tree.
Olearia range from very small compact bushes, such as Olearia nummularifolia and Olearia haastii, to quite big shrubby trees such as Olearia traversii (Chatham Island Ake Ake) and Olearia paniculata (Golden Ake Ake). The look of Olearias differs a lot and there is huge variety available. Some have small needle like leaves, some are big and leafy, and there is a huge range in between.
The larger tree forms are very tough and wind hardy so are very useful for tall shelter. Olearia are excellent in coastal situations, but some varieties are perfectly at home in alpine situations, such as Olearia avicenniaefolia (Mountain Ake Ake), Olearia Dartonii, Olearia Solandri and many more.
Olearia clip beautifully and make a lovely tough hedge from Medium to tall. Olearia paniculata is a favourite for hedging due to it's interesting colour and wavy leaves, ability to withstand a range of conditions and it's very traditional look. Other Olearia are also very suitable for hedging and their colourings make for an interesting and different hedge.