This is the most well-known tree in the Mediterranean basin. It is a tree that tends to have a very long life – more than 1,000 years, growing very slowly and reaching up to 15m in height.
Young trees have a straight trunk, covered with a smooth silver bark. As it ages, the trunk becomes twisted, knotted and often disintegrates. its shiny leaves are a bright green colour on the topside and lighter, more silver on the underside. It flowers from April to June with small, fragrant flowers but which are not of particular interest from a decorative point of view.
Its fruit is the olive, an oval drupe with a stone inside. Harvested in autumn or winter, depending on the area, its green skin changes to a shiny black when it ripens in autumn. It is pressed to obtain the oil from the fruit.
There are many different varieties of olive tree such as: lechín, arbequína, Sevillian gordal and manzanilla, among others. It is sold as oil and olives and used in gardens as an individual tree or even in pots for terraces.
In the last 20 years the olive has adapted to occasional temperature change and has resisted very cold temperatures without being damaged. It is also very resistant to long periods of drought or too much water, as well as very hot or very cold temperatures, thus permitting it to live for several hundred years; in fact, there are olive trees which have been recorded as being more than 2,000 years old!
Origin: Mediterranean basin.
Temperature: -12°C. – 15ºC.
Little water. Sun.