Evergreen tree which can reach
10-15 m of height, long-lived, of slow growing, with broad and little dense
crown. Thick, irregular, tortuous, twisted and often very short trunk with
white wood very appreciated in cabinetmaking. The basal part of the trunk is
made up of a heavy stump in which the tree stores reserve material and is able
to emit continuously shoots which ensure the survival of the tree. It gives
terminal shoots of growth (branch shoots) during the months of March and April
after the winter resting stage. The bark shows elliptical lumps, ridges and
tight cracks. The color of the bark is light gray or silver. The upper branches
emerge from the trunk, have a high capacity for renewal and show an
extraordinary vigor; are of smooth barksand and only crack over the years. The
leaves are simple, thick, opposite, entire, coriaceous, elliptical, oblong or
lanceolate, depending on the variety from 30 mm to 50
mm long and from 10 mm to 15 mm wide, the central
nerve is very acute opposite to the secondary one, it has mucronate apex and
narrows in the base in a short petiole which does not exceed 0.5 cm, the margins
are entire and incurved towards the abaxial surface. The leaves are persistent
and remain on the tree for two or three years.
The inflorescence of the olive is a panicle, has a
central axis which branch off that at the same time can also branch out. In the
branches of the inflorescence, flowers may be isolated or form groups of three
to five flowers. Are bisexual or polygamous, since they have two types of
flowers: perfect and staminate. The perfect flowers are hermaphrodite made up
of a gamosepalous cup, inconspicuous (2 small teeth), green-whitish colored
made up of four sepals, the gamopetalous corolla made up of four petals
arranged in a white or yellowish-white cross. They are gathered in small
axillary clusters with a white corolla. The number of flowers per inflorescence
ranges from 10 to 40 flowers depending on the variety and environmental
conditions and physiological characteristics of the tree.
Its fruits are olives. They are drupes ovoid or
somewhat globular, in which appears a single bone. They have different sizes,
depending on variety, but typically range between 1.5 and 3 cm. The
olive experiences changes in color while it fattens. From deep green at the
beginning of its setting, to a yellowish green when it is developing, purple
spots appear at the beginning of ripening, followed by a bluish purple hue,
finally, when it reaches full maturity in a bluish black hue. Olives ripen in
autumn, September and October, and harvested at this time for their keep, for
it they must be dispossessed of their characteristic bitter taste. Those which
are used for making olive oil are collected in winter during the months of
November and December, to be carried to the mill. The olive bear fruits in
bunches of the previous year, a circumstance that benefits the alternation of
crops in a year of high production. In this way the vegetative growth, carrying
the following harvest, is reduced.
It belongs to the botanical family of Oleaceae in the
Ligustrales order. It is native of Asia Minor but it is cultivated
throughout the Mediterranean, mainly in Spain, for many centuries.
From Iran, Syria and Palestine it was expanded for the
rest of the Mediterranean basin. Their habitat is determined by the
Mediterranean climate characterized by mild winters and dry summers. The areas
belonging to this kind of weather are located between 30 ° and 45 ° parallels
of both hemispheres.
The leaves. Sometimes the fruits and their juice.
> Prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis.
> Coronary deficiency.
> Type 2 diabetes.
> Respiratory infections, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
> Other medical uses:
hyperuricemia, fever, arthritis and arthralgia. Some authors recommend it also
in AIDS, candidiasis, chronic fatigue syndrome and in case of fibromyalgia.
> Hypercholesterolemia and
> Prevention of the arteriosclerosis.
> Dermatitis, dry eczema, psoriasis, burns, scalds, ichthyosis, dyshidrosis.