In Southern Spain, where I live, there are a lot of Olive trees. Especially in the provinces of Cordoba, Jaen and Granada. These Olive tree growing regions are the source of a large percentage of the world´s Olive Oil and Olives.
So to get pictures of Olive tree all I have to do is walk out the front door and look around. Most o these pictures were taken within five minutes walking of where I live. The image above is of the Olive flower (blossom).
Any given Olive tree can produce green or black olives depending on when they are harvested. When they are harvested before they turn black you get green olives. If they are harvested when they are fully ripe you get black olives.
There is only one Olive tree species (Olea Europaea) but there are quite a few sub-species that produce different varieties of Olives. Olive tree wood is also extensively used as a carving wood and also for small furniture. Below is the base of an old Olive tree.
Common name(s): Olive tree,
Scientific name: Olea europaea
Family: Oleaceae – Olive family
Native range: Mediterranean region
Non-native distribution: widely cultivated worldwide. Notably in California, Australia, Southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East etc.
Average height: 15 - 45 feet (6-15m)
Forest or habitat: Original range unknown. No truly wild populations exist.
Wood density and quality: slow growing, moderately hard wood, beautiful grain
Leaf shape: Lanceolate, slighly cuneate (tip more rounded than base)
Leaf arrangement: Opposite and decussate
Leaf margin: Entire, slightly undulate
Leaf venation: Rachis (main vein) visible and pronounced but secondary pinnate veins difficult to distinguish.
Leaf stem: Short petiole
Leaf surface: Glabrous. Dark green topside, light green bottom side.
Inflorescence type: Raceme. Opposite and decussate (30-50 flowers per raceme approx.)
Flower: Small, creamy white,
Pollinating agents: Wind
Fruit type and color: Drupe, green then ripens to dark brown - purple-black
Edible?: Yes (fruit and associated oil)
Seed description: 0.5 - 1.0 cm in length, pointy on both ends, “football shape”
Seed dispersal mechanism: birds,
Bark: smooth and grey in young trees and new branches. rough and furrowed in older trees.
Traditional uses: food, oil, carving wood
Commercial uses: cosmetics, oils, soap, cabinet wood
Iconic or symbolic value: Olive branch symbolises peace and / or victory. In the story of Noah´s arc the dove brought back an Olive branch signifying hope and restoration.