Sometimes known colloquially as laurustinus, this is a tough, evergreen shrub (or small tree, if pruned to a single trunk) from the Mediterranean that grows well in the Sydney climate and is valuable for providing background screening and greenery in the garden. It flowers in late winter and spring with flat heads of faintly scented, small white flowers held within pinkish buds. The dark green foliage is quite large and leathery; the new growth in spring is an attractive lime-green. The shrub grows to 3 m or more in height and width but can be clipped to keep it more compact. Prune after flowering is finished. It is very useful for hedging and can be clipped to a formal shape. It is very drought and frost hardy. The main pest that can bother it is red spider mite, though this may be more likely when the plant is grown in shade. If it becomes afflicted by red spider mite, spray with Eco-Oil or neem oil. It does best in a sunny position but will also grow in half-shade. There are various named forms, though I have never actually seen any of them growing. Propagation is by cuttings or layering.