Olea europaea L.
Olea europaea, commonly known as olive, is a tree with creamy white flowers.
The trees have a rounded to broadly spreading canopy and reach heights of 8 to 10 metres.
Wood and Bark
Olea europaea is evergreen. The mid-green, simple leaves are opposite. They are elliptic, entire and petiolate.
Flowers and Fruits
Olea europaea produces racemes of white cruciform flowers from April to May. The plants are hermaphroditic, pollination takes places by self pollination as well as by allogamy through the wind and through animals.
The trees carry ornamental, edible drupes in autumn.
Olea europaea is native to : garden origin.
The trees prefer a sunny situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil. They tolerate temperatures down to -7Â°C (USDA zone 9). Under glass use loamy potting compost with added sand. In winter the plants prefer bright light.
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: drought
The ornamental value of Olea europaea lies especially in its fragrance and the ornamental leaves. The trees are suited for cultivation in a cold house, growing the plants outdoors all year round is only possible in frost-free climates. Suited for conservatories, as well as suited as container plant and as specimen plant.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants usually require only a moderate amount of maintenance.
- For healthy growth apply a compound fertilizer monthly during growth.
- Water moderately in summer, give little water in winter.
- temperature in winter should be 5 to 10Â°C.
- Remove crossing shoots late in winter or in early spring to promote healthy growth.
Propagate by sowing in spring at 15 Â°C. Soak seeds in lukewarm water during 1-2 days before sowing. Also by semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
Pests and Diseases
Scale insects that sit on the undersides of the leaves and excrete honeydew can be controlled with insecticide or biologically with parasitic wasps.
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.