Most olives are produced in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea where the orchards with their garbled trees are a typical part of the landscape. Olive trees are usually cultivated to produce olive oil, which is a high quality edible oil used for cooking and in salads. The pickled fruits are also eaten as a snack or they are used as a vegetable, mixed in salads or in other food such as pizza and pasta sauces.

Olive oil is used in salads and for cooking but can also be used for skin care.

Olive trees can be very old, sometimes several centuries.

An olive branch symbolizes peace or goodwill. When Noah, after the great flooding of the earth, released a white dove, it came back with an olive leaf, showing that the waters were receding. Winners of Olympic games used to be honored with a crown of olive leaves.


   Olea europaea
   Olive tree
   Olivier européen
   Echter Ölbaum



Basic information and facts


Olives originate from the the eastern Mediterranean region.


Most olives are grown in countries near the Mediterranean
Sea, especially Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Tunesia,
Morocco, Egypt and Portugal.

Evergreen or deciduous:

Evergreen tree


Small white flowers.


Silvery green leaves. Leaves have an oblong, about 4 to
10 cm long and about 1 to 3 cm wide.


Small ovoid fruits o 1 to 2.5 cm long with one seed.

Climate and weather:

Mediterranean climate


Proverbs and Quotes

  • Don’t call me a little olive until you’ve picked me.
  • Hold out the olive branch.
  • In the olive grove, a wise man at the feet and a wild man at the head.
  • September brings acorn and olives.
  • The olive grove of your grandfather, the cherry trees of your father, and your grape vines.
  • But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. (Bible, Psalms 52:8)
  • England and the English. As a rule they will refuse even to sample a foreign dish, they regard such things as garlic and olive oil with disgust, life is unlivable to them unless they have tea and puddings. (George Orwell)
  • His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. (Bible)
  • Except the vine, there is no plant which bears a fruit of as great importance as the olive. (Pliny)

Did you know that?

  • Olive trees can be several centuries old.
  • Olive oil can be used for skin care.
  • Olive oil has a mild laxative effect and has been found to relieve constipation for many people.
  • Olive Oyl is Popeye’s girlfriend.


Olive Oil Bread Dip

1/4 cup pure olive oil, black pepper (freshly crushed), parmesan cheese, fresh (hot) bread

Pour the olive oil on a flat plate. Sprinkle it with black pepper and parmesan cheese. Use fresh (hot) bread and dip it in the oil. It’s delicious.

Crop categories

Fruit vegetables
Vegetable oils
Food crops
Subtropical crops



Olives harvested

Old olive tree

Olive oil - Photo by Bijenvriend

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