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Olea europaea

Phonetic Spelling
OH-lee-a yoo-ROH-pay-a
Description

Common Olive is an evergreen fruit tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is an important commercial tree used for fruits for eating and for the production of olive oil. The tree matures to have a gnarled and twisted trunk and grows to 20-30 feet tall. It can be grown outdoors in zones 8-10 or brought indoors or in a greenhouse in colder areas. It requires 2 months of temperatures in the 40-50 degree F range to flower.

The white fragrant flowers occur in 2 inch long panicles in summer and are followed by a green drupe (the olive) that matures to purple. They can be harvested at either stage.

The tree has been introduced in many parts of the world. It is able to form dense stands and is reported to have become invasive in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.

Common Olive prefers fertile well-drained soils with average moisture in full sun. They are drought tolerant once established. Grow this tree as an ornamental, for fruit production or in a container.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#white flowers#fruit tree#summer flowers#evergreen tree#olives#gnarled trunk#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#white flowers#fruit tree#summer flowers#evergreen tree#olives#gnarled trunk#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Olea
    Species:
    europaea
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean, Africa, Asia
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    1.5-inch oval fleshy green to purple drupe with one seed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    2 inches long panicles of small white fragrant, feathery flowers in summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-4 inch long oval to lance-shaped dark green leaves with silvery undersides.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    The smooth gray bark becomes gnarled and twisted with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Small Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought