Olea europaea     
Oleaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: single or multistemmed tree or large shrub
Seasonality: evergreen
Size: 20-30ft with equal or slightly less spread
Leaves: lancolate, narrow, opposite, to 3in long, stiff, gray-green on top, underside lighter
Flowers: axillary clusters of small creamy white flowers; bloom in spring; allergenic
Fruit: edible olives, 1.5in across; green in late summer maturing to black; drops when ripe
Stems/Trunks: attractive trunk; gray; gnarled, bumpy and contorted
Range/Origin: Mediterranean; in cultivation for millennia
Hardiness: to 15°F, some injury below mid-teens

Olive trees
Olea europaea



curing fruit (to make edible) is complex process
outlawed in Tucson due to allergenic pollen
susceptible to Texas root rot

cultivars "Swan Hill" and Wilson's Fruitless" are legal and almost fruitless, also have wider leaves.

chemical sprays can successfully prevent fruit set
long lived; specimens known to be several centuries old

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This page was first created August 29, 2001 and last modified March 14, 2006.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
email to: tmoore1@flash.net

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