THE OLIVE TREE (lat. Olea europaea L.)
The oldest and most famous cultivated plant in the Mediterranean. The olive tree survives for several hundred years. There is a difference between the wild olive tree – Olea europaea L. subsp. oleaster and the cultivated olive tree – Olea europaea L. subsp. sativa. *subsp. Abbreviation from the Latin name for subspecies.
The wild olive tree appears as a hugely rambling evergreen shrub, somewhat smaller than the cultivated olive tree, with fewer leaves and extremely thorny branches. The fruit of the wild olive tree is also smaller than that of the cultivated one. Ripe fruit is almost black and it has a large stone. The wild olive tree grows on dry and rocky areas of our coastal region. Through selection and improvement, several hundred types of cultivated olive trees are grown throughout the world.