24 May

Olive definition from Wiki!


The Olive (Olea europaea) is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean region, from Syria and the maritime parts of Asia Minor and northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea. Its use as a major agricultural product in preclassical Greece led to its wider distribution throughout the western Mediterranean. Olive trees show a marked preference for calcareous soils, flourishing best on limestone slopes and crags, and coastal climate conditions.

Olives 19th century illustrationThe Wild Olive is a small, straggly tree or shrub to 8-15 m tall with thorny branches. The leaves are opposite, oblong pointed, 4-10 cm long and 1-3 cm broad, dark greyish-green above and pale with whitish scales below. The small white flowers, with four-cleft calyx and corolla, two stamens and bifid stigma, are borne generally on the last year’s wood, in racemes springing from the axils of the leaves. The fruit is a small drupe 1-2 cm long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars.

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