Phillyrea latifolia is a bush or even a small tree. It’s similar to evergreen buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus), although they are not related. The arrangement of the leaves makes an easy distinction: Phillyrea latifolia has opposite leaves -so in pairs, one in front each other in the stem- while those of evergreen buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) indeed alternate. Its black, ripe fruit reminds a little olive.
Phillyrea latifolia can be the dominant species in rocky areas thanks to its extraordinary resistance to summer drought.
[photos Jordi Badia]