Common name: Common Olive
Olea europaea L. APNI*
Description: Much-branched tree, variable in size from 2–15 m high.
Leaves ± narrow oblong to elliptic, 3–7 cm long, 0.8–2.5 cm wide, apex acute with a small hook or point, base attenuate to cuneate, margins entire and recurved, upper surface grey-green and glossy, lower surface with a dense covering of silvery, golden or brown scales; domatia absent; venation obvious on upper surface, obscure on lower surface; petiole to 10 mm long.
Inflorescence branches 5–6 cm long. Calyx 4-lobed, c. 1 mm long. Corolla greenish white or cream; tube 1–2 mm long; lobes c. 3 mm long, ± reflexed at anthesis. Stamens 2, fused near the top of the corolla tube; stigma ± bilobed.
Drupe ± globose to ellipsoid, 15–25 mm long, c. 6 mm diam., fleshy, glaucous, purple-black, when ripe.
Flowering: usually spring.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows in disturbed sites, often along roadsides and river banks; south from Lismore area. Native of Medit. region & SW Asia.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NC, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *SWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Vic. *S.A.
Image shows leaf differences between the two subspecies.
Text by D. W. Hardin (1992); edited KL Wilson (Nov 2011)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
| ||Key to the subspecies|| |
|1||Leaves mostly 3–7 cm long, 8–10 mm wide, apex without hooked tip, lower surface whitish or silvery||subsp. europaea|
|Leaves mostly 6–10 cm long, 10–25 mm wide, often with a hooked apex, lower surface green or yellowish brown||subsp. cuspidata|
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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