Successes and lessons from olive risk management in South Australia

J.G. VirtueA, N.D. CrossmanB and D.A. CookeA

A Department of Water Land and Biodiversity Conservation, GPO Box 2834, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia.

B CSIRO Land and Water, Private Bag 2, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia.


Olea europaea L. spp. europaea, the culinary olive, was introduced to South Australia (SA) in 1836 by John Hindmarsh, the State’s first Governor (Stevenson 1839). More varieties were introduced and in the 1870-1890s there was substantial commercial production in what are now the eastern suburbs of Adelaide (Reichelt and Burr 1997), as well as Clare and the Riverland (Smyth 2002). However, high costs and low demand for olive oil saw a decline in the industry from the 1900s, with fruit no longer being harvested. The abandonment of these early orchards facilitated the beginnings of a feral olive invasion, with the first naturalized specimen taken in 1901 (Kloot 1986). The Adelaide foothills adjacent to the former orchards now contain high density populations of olive.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2008) 23 (2) 80-82.