Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Olea - L.

Common Name Olive, African olive, European olive
Family Oleaceae
USDA hardiness 8-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and scrub in dry rocky places[50].
Range S. Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Olea Olive, African olive,  European olive


Olea Olive, African olive,  European olive
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nickfraser

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded, Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Olea is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Edible Uses

Olive fruits are widely used, especially in the Mediterranean, as a relish and flavouring for foods. The fruit is usually pickled or cured with water, brine, oil, salt or lye[2, 3, 4, 89, 183]. They can also be dried in the sun and eaten without curing when they are called 'fachouilles'[183]. The cured fruits are eaten as a relish, stuffed with pimentos or almonds, or used in breads, soups, salads etc[183]. 'Olives schiacciate' are olives picked green, crushed, cured in oil and used as a salad[183]. The fruit contains 20 - 50µ vitamin D per 100g[74]. The fruit is up to 4cm long[200]. The seed is rich in an edible non-drying oil, this is used in salads and cooking and, because of its distinct flavour, is considered a condiment[4, 46, 57, 89, 171, 183]. There are various grades of the oil, the finest (known as 'Extra Virgin') is produced by cold pressing the seeds without using heat or chemical solvents[238]. The seed of unpalatable varieties is normally used and this oil has the lowest percentage of acidity and therefore the best flavour[238]. Other grades of the oil come from seeds that are heated (which enables more oil to be expressed but has a deleterious effect on the quality) or from using chemical solvents on seed that has already been pressed for higher grades of oil. Olive oil is mono-unsaturated and regular consumption is thought to reduce the risk of circulatory diseases[238]. The seed contains albumen, it is the only seed known to do this[7]. Leaves[2]. No more details are given. An edible manna is obtained from the tree[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The oil from the pericarp is cholagogue, a nourishing demulcent, emollient and laxative[4, 21, 240]. Eating the oil reduces gastric secretions and is therefore of benefit to patients suffering from hyperacidity[238]. The oil is also used internally as a laxative and to treat peptic ulcers[4, 238]. It is used externally to treat pruritis, the effects of stings or burns and as a vehicle for liniments[4, 21]. Used with alcohol it is a good hair tonic and used with oil of rosemary it is a good treatment for dandruff[4, 21]. The oil is also commonly used as a base for liniments and ointments[21]. The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, febrifuge and sedative[4, 21]. A decoction is used in treating obstinate fevers, they also have a tranquillising effect on nervous tension and hypertension[4, 238]. Experimentally, they have been shown to decrease blood sugar levels by 17 - 23%[240]. Externally, they are applied to abrasions[238]. The bark is astringent, bitter and febrifuge[4, 240]. It is said to be a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria[240]. In warm countries the bark exudes a gum-like substance that has been used as a vulnerary[4]. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Complete exhaustion' and 'Mental fatigue'[209].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

The non-drying oil obtained from the seed is also used for soap making, lighting and as a lubricant[21, 46, 89]. The oil is a good hair tonic and dandruff treatment[21]. Maroon and purple dyes are obtained from the whole fresh ripe fruits[168]. Blue and black dyes are obtained from the skins of fresh ripe fruits[168]. A yellow/green dye is obtained from the leaves[168]. Plants are used to stabilize dry dusty hillsides[200]. Wood - very hard, heavy, beautifully grained, takes a fine polish and is slightly fragrant. It is used in turnery and cabinet making, being much valued by woodworkers[4, 7, 46, 100].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Espalier, Pollard, Standard, Specimen, Street tree. Easily grown in a loamy soil[1] and tolerating infertile soils[200], it prefers a well-drained deep fertile soil[200]. A drought resistant plant once established, it succeeds in dry soils[200]. Requires a sunny position[3]. Tolerates salty air[59]. Plants are slow-growing and very long-lived[188]. The olive is very commonly cultivated in Mediterranean climates for its edible seed, there are many named varieties[132, 183]. Trees can produce a crop when they are 6 years old and continue producing a commercial yield for the next 50 years[200] - many trees continue to give good yields for hundreds of years, even when their trunk is hollow[4]. They succeed outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[11], though plants rarely produce fruit when grown in this country[4, 182, 200], preferring warm temperate regions with mild moist winters and hot dry summers[200]. Some reports say that trees often fruit in south-western England[11, 59]. Generally, older trees are hardy to about -10°c[3, 200]. They require the protection of a south facing wall when grown in the London area[11]. At least some cultivars are self-fertile[200]. Some cultivars have been selected mainly for their fruits whilst others have been selected for their oil[200]. 'Mission' is grown for its edible fruits. It is vigorous, prolific and very cold resistant[200]. 'Moraiolo' is grown for its oil, it is very hardy and strong-growing[200]. Flower production depends on a 12 - 15 week period of diurnally fluctuating temperatures with at least 2 months averaging below 10°c[200]. Pruning can encourage non-fruiting water-shoots[200]. Weighing down or arching the branches can encourage fruiting[200]. The plants fruit best on wood that is one year old so any pruning should take this into account[238]. An olive branch is a traditional symbol of peace[148], laurel leaves were used by the ancient Greeks to crown winners of the Olympic games[4]. Plants have male flowers and bisexual flowers[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, Fragrant flowers.

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - sow late winter in a shady position in a greenhouse[78]. Home produced seed should be given a period of cold stratification first[78]. Where possible, it is best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in the autumn. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, perhaps for their first 2 - 3 winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter outdoors[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Anemone quinquefoliaWind Flower, Wood anemone, Twoleaf anemone, NightcapsPerennial0.3 6-9  LMHFSM01 
Chionanthus virginicusFringe Tree, White fringetree, Old Man's Beard, Fringe TreeShrub5.0 4-9 FLMHSNM13 
Elaeagnus angustifoliaOleaster, Russian oliveShrub7.0 2-7 MLMHNDM424
Elaeagnus latifoliaBastard OleasterShrub3.0 8-11 MLMHNDM322
Elaeagnus pungensElaeagnus, Thorny olive, Thorny Elaeagnus, Oleaster, Silverberry, Silverthorn, Pungent ElaeagnusShrub4.0 6-10 MLMHFSNDM523
Euphorbia neriifoliaFleshy spurge, Hedge Euphorbia, Oleander spurgeShrub4.0 10-12 FLMSND222
Fontanesia phillyreoides fortuneiXue LiuShrub3.0 5-9  LMHSNM00 
Forestiera acuminataSwamp Privet, Eastern swampprivetShrub3.0 0-0  LMHSNM11 
Forestiera neomexicanaWild OliveShrub3.0 5-9  LMHSNDM20 
Forsythia suspensaLian Qiao, Weeping forsythiaShrub5.0 5-8 MLMHFSNM13 
Forsythia viridissimaGolden Bells, Greenstem forsythia, ForsythiaShrub2.5 5-8 SLMHFSNM02 
Forsythia x intermediaGolden Bell, Border ForsythiaShrub2.5 5-8 FLMHFSNM00 
Fraxinus americanaWhite AshTree25.0 4-9 FLMHSNDM120
Fraxinus angustifoliaNarrow-Leaved AshTree25.0 5-9  LMHNDM10 
Fraxinus bungeanaXiao Ye QinShrub5.0 4-8  LMHNDM02 
Fraxinus chinensis rhynchophyllaHua Qu LiuTree25.0 5-9  LMHNM02 
Fraxinus excelsiorAsh, European ash, Common AshTree30.0 5-8 FLMHNMWe22 
Fraxinus floribundaHimalayan AshTree40.0 7-10  LMHNM22 
Fraxinus hookeri Tree0.0 -  LMHNM00 
Fraxinus latifoliaOregon AshTree20.0 5-9  LMHNM01 
Fraxinus longicuspis Tree8.0 5-9  LMHNM01 
Fraxinus nigraBlack AshTree25.0 2-5 MLMHNMWe01 
Fraxinus ornusManna Ash, Flowering ashTree9.0 5-6 SLMHNDM33 
Fraxinus pennsylvanicaRed Ash, Green ash, Water AshTree20.0 3-9 FLMHNM110
Fraxinus quadrangulataBlue AshTree20.0 4-8 MLMHNM00 
Fraxinus sieboldianaAshTree8.0 6-9 MLMHNM00 
Fraxinus texensisTexas White AshTree12.0 5-9 FLMHSNDM00 
Fraxinus velutinaArizona Ash, Velvet ash, Modesto Ash, Fantex AshTree12.0 7-10 FLMHNM00 
Fraxinus xanthoxyloides Tree6.0 7-10  LMHNM00 
Jasminum grandiflorumJasminClimber2.5 10-12 SLMHSNM334
123

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1150200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Olea  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.
Web Design & Management