Olearia paniculata forms a much-branched, evergreen shrub or small tree 8–20 ft (2.5–7.5 m) high. The leathery leaves are oval, yellow-green and 1.6–3 in (4–7.5 cm) long. The underside of leaf is white to buff, while the leaf edges are markedly wavy. The tiny, highly scented, daisy flowers are seen in late autumn.
Olearia paniculata is found in coastal areas to mountain scrublands, and forest edges, in both North and South Islands of New Zealand, from East Cape to Greymouth. In cultivation it needs well-drained soils, and an open position. It is not fully hardy in the UK.