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Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Olea europaea

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 8 (1753) subsp. europaea.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Olive.

Evergreen tree usually 5-10 rarely 15 m high, much-branched; leaves more or less elliptic, 3-7 cm long, 0.8-2 cm broad, entire, grey-green, densely silvery-scaly beneath.

Inflorescence axillary, distichous-subpaniculate, often functionally unisexual, calyx small, campanulate, with 4 shallow subtriangular lobes; corolla sympetalous, cream-coloured, tube 1-2 mm long, with 4 strongly valvate lobes, c. 3 mm long, more or less reflexed at anthesis; stamens 2, attached near the top of the corolla tube, exserted on filaments c. 1 mm long; ovary rounded, c. 1 mm long, ovules basal, style terminal, with a more or less bilobed stigma.

Fruit a fleshy ellipsoid drupe, purple-black and glaucous when ripe, 1-3 cm long.

Published illustration: Costermans (1981) Native trees and shrubs of south-eastern Australia, p. 263.

Distribution:    Native of the Mediterraenan region and south-west Asia.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: No flowering time is available

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Subspecies europaea is believed to be an ancient cultigen but wild subspecies occur in Asia, Africa, Madeira and the Canary Islands.

Uses: Introduced and planted for its oil-producing fruits.

Author: Not yet available

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