Tutsan and African Olive: Two new noxious weeds for the Blue Mountains

by Jenny Hill (Environment Communication & Engagement Officer)
In February 2014 Tutsan/Goldflower – Hypericum androsaemum and H. kouytchense (syn. Hypericum x moserianum) and African Olive – Olea europaea ssp.cuspidata were declared  noxious weeds in the Blue Mountains.

Tutsan and African Olive are Class 3 noxious weeds: this means “the plant must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed”.


Hypericum kouytchense – the fruit is a dry capsule. (Source: Jenny Hill)

Tutsan is a common garden plant of older gardens in the upper Blue Mountains. It has striking yellow summer flowers. It is also an invasive weed and a potential threat to riparian communities, hanging swamps and threatened frog species habitat.

Tutsan prefers cooler climates with high rainfall and is especially common in areas such as Jenolan Caves, Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls.

Hypericum androsaemum – the fruit is fleshy and berry-like (photo source: Digging Dog Nursery diggingdog.com/pages2/plantpages.php/S-0182)

If not controlled, African Olive takes over large areas forming dense monocultures. It is a huge problem on the Cumberland Plains but is also moving up the mountains and is currently found in mid and lower Mountains areas such as Woodford, Hazelbrook and from Faulconbridge to Lapstone.

african olive

African Olive – the upper surface of the leaves is glossy grey-green and the underside is silver, green to brown with a hooked tip. (Photo Source: P.Cuneo RBG, Sydney).