Olive Trees

Olive Trees

About Olive Trees

The olive (Olea europaea, meaning 'Oil from/of Europe') is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south of the Caspian Sea. Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The tree and its fruit give its name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia and the true ash trees (Fraxinus). The word derives from Latin olva which is cognate with the Greek (elaa) ultimately from Mycenaean Greek e-ra-wa ('elaiva'), attested in Linear B syllabic script. The word 'oil' in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fruit.

Contributions by MPF, 70.74.35.164, and Erimus.