Olearia avicenniifolia is an evergreen spreading, bushy shrub, or small tree, 8–20 ft (2.4–6 m) high. The leathery, green, lance-shaped leaves are 2–4 in (5–10 cm) long, buff to white beneath. The sweetly scented flowers are white, in much branched flower heads; late summer. In New Zealand it is hardy and dry tolerant in cultivation.
Found fairly commonly in lowland to mountain scrubland throughout South Island and Stewart Island, New Zealand. In the UK it is hardy enough to survive all but the most severe winters, with a little protection.