Olive leaf: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on olive

Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub of the Oleaceae family. It is a short and squat plant that rarely exceeds 8–15 m (26–49 ft) in height. There is an exception to this in the Pisciottana, a unique variety comprising 40,000 trees found only in the area around Pisciotta in the Campania region of southern Italy. These trees often exceed 8–15 m (26–49 ft) with correspondingly large trunk diameters.

The silvery green leaves are oblong, measuring 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long and 1–3 cm (0.39–1.2 in) wide. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted. The small white, feathery flowers, with ten-cleft calyx and corolla, two stamens and bifid stigma, are borne generally on the previous year's wood, in racemes springing from the axils of the leaves. The fruit is a small drupe 1–2.5 cm (0.39–0.98 in) long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars.

common names & nomenclature
The Latin name Olea europaea translates to "oil of Europe". The name of the olive relates to the word "oil" in many languages.

Also known as:
olive leaf, olive

Olive Leaf, the supplement and seasoning herb
Olive leaf: Where in the World
habitat and range for olive

Olea europaea is native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as the Levant, northern Saudi Arabia, northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south of the Caspian Sea.

Olive leaf: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting olive

Olive trees like to grow in climates with hot, dry summers and mild winters on slopes in full sun, the south side is ideal.

Olive trees like a sandy loam that neither extremely acid nor basic.

Seed should be given a period of cold stratification first, it is best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in the autumn. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, perhaps for their first 2 - 3 winters. Plant them out into their permanent locations outdoors in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter.

Olives are harvested in the green to purple stage. Olive leaves may be harvested any time, but are best done after the fruit is harvested.

Store dried olive leaves pieces or powdered dried olive leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.