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Olearia stuartii.jpg
Olearia stuartii
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Olearia
Type species
Olearia tomentosa

See text.

Olearia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Asteraceae. There are about 130 different species within the genus found mostly in Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand. The genus includes herbaceous plants, shrubs and small trees. The latter are unusual among the Asteraceae and are called tree daisies in New Zealand. Shrubs are called daisy bushes. All bear the familiar daisy-like composite flowerheads.

The genus is named after Johann Gottfried Olearius, a 17th-century German scholar and author of Specimen Florae Hallensis.[2] Originally a large genus, a molecular study has found it to be polyphyletic.[3]

Olearia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Aenetus ligniveren, which burrows into the trunk.


Selected species include:


Several species are cultivated as ornamental garden plants, and there are hybrids of uncertain or mixed parentage. Among these, the following have been given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit:-[5]

  • Olearia macrodonta, New Zealand holly[6]
  • Olearia × mollis ‘Zennorensis’, daisy bush ‘Zennorensis’[7]
  • Olearia × scilloniensis ‘Master Michael’, Scilly daisy bush[8] They are generally hardy down to −10 °C (14 °F), but require a sheltered spot in full sun.


  1. ^ "Olearia Moench". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  2. ^ Moench, Conrad. 1802. Supplementum ad Methodum Plantas. pp. 254-255
  3. ^ Cross, E.W.; Quinn, C.J.; Wagstaff, S.J. (2002). "Molecular evidence for the polyphyly of Olearia (Astereae: Asteraceae)". Plant Systematics and Evolution. 235 (1–4): 99–120. doi:10.1007/s00606-002-0198-9. JSTOR 23645039.
  4. ^ a b c WIlson, Paul G. "Search terms: olearia". New South Wales Flora Online. National Herbarium of New South Wales.
  5. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 69. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  6. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Olearia macrodonta". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Olearia × mollis 'Zennorensis'". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  8. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Olearia × scilloniensis 'Master Michael'". Retrieved 14 April 2018.