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An evergreen bush of dense growth up to 10 ft high; young shoots thinly downy or almost glabrous. Leaves alternate, thick and leathery, closely set on the branchlets (twelve or more to the inch), oval or obovate to almost round, tapering at the base to a very short stalk, rounded at the apex, toothless, the margins recurved, 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, from half to nearly as much wide, glossy green above, clothed beneath with a very close, yellowish-white felt. Flower-heads solitary, produced from the axils of the terminal leaves, beyond which they stand out slightly. Each flower-head is 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 in. long and each has three to five creamy-white or yellowish ray-florets. The scales of the involucre are erect, in several rows, often nearly glabrous except at the points and margins. Salmon, Field Guide to the Alpine Plants of New Zealand, t. 4.
Native of New Zealand on the North and South Islands, ascending to altitudes of 4,500 ft. It is one of the hardier olearias and survives ordinary winters at Kew, but still cannot be relied on there like O. × haastii. It is usually seen as a rather low bush in this country, distinct in its crowded, small, thick leaves and is well worth growing in the milder counties. The flowers are heliotrope-scented and borne in July.
O. cymbifolia (Hook. f.) Cheesem