Olearia – Daisy Bush –
There are about 180 species of shrubs and small tree, and some herbaceous perennials in this genus. They occur in a wide variety of habitats, including, coastal areas, bogs, forest, riverbanks, and mountain scrub, in Australia and New Zealand. They have generally aromatic, alternate, occasionally clustered, simple, usually leathery leaves, which are white or buff with tiny soft hairs on the undersides. They are grown for their daisy like flower heads, often with colorful petal (white, cream, blue, lavender, purple or pink), held singly, or in corymbs or panicles, that smother the plant in spring to fall. Olearias are suitable for planting in a shrub border, or in a sheltered site if not fully hardy. Some, such as O. x haastii, O. macrodonta, and O. traversii, may be grown as hedges and windbreaks, particularly in coastal areas.
Grow in moderately fertile, well drained soil in full sun or part shade, with shelter from cold, drying winds. Many are tolerant of salt, wind and atmospheric pollution. Prune after flowering to prevent it from becoming leggy.
O. ilicifolia – Mountain Holly – Hakeye – This dense, spreading, bushy shrub or small tree from New Zealand grows 10-15′ feet tall and wide. It produces alternate, stiff and leathery wavy edged spiny toothed holly like, lance shaped, dull gray green leaves, to 4″ long. In summer it bears fragrant white flowers, to ½” across, with yellow centers are held in large corymbs, to 4″ across.