Four bacterial strains (E(30)8(T), E(55)49, I(30)77 and N(30)129) were isolated from the residual wash-water produced during the processing of Spanish-style green table olives. The isolates were subjected to a polyphasic taxonomic study using phenotypic, phylogenetic and genotypic methods. The bacteria were Gram-positive, spore-forming rods. Moreover, they were heterotrophs that were able to utilize cellobiose, glucose, mannose and rhamnose as carbon sources. The G+C content of their genomic DNA ranged from 30.7 to 33.4 mol%. The major cellular fatty acids found in strain E(30)8(T) were iso-C(15 : 0), anteiso-C(15 : 0), iso-C(17 : 0) and anteiso-C(17 : 0). DNA-DNA hybridization shows 76.2-88.3 % relatedness among the four strains. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of isolate E(30)8(T) shows that it belongs to the genus Virgibacillus, with the highest sequence similarity (99 %) to Virgibacillus marismortui 123(T). However, phenotypic differences and DNA-DNA relatedness between strain E(30)8(T) and V. marismortui ATCC 700626(T) of less than 47 % suggest the placement of these strains within a novel species of the genus Virgibacillus. The name Virgibacillus olivae sp. nov. is proposed, with strain E(30)8(T) (=LMG 23503(T)=DSM 18098(T)) as the type strain.