Olea europaea, commonly called common olive, is an evergreen tree that is native to the Mediterranean region. It typically grows to 20-30 tall with a rounded crown. Young trees have smooth gray bark, but trunks and branches will gnarl somewhat picturesquely with age. Opposite, elliptic to lance shaped leaves (to 3 long) are gray-green above and silver-green beneath. Very small white flowers bloom in panicles (to 2 long) in summer on stems from the leaf axils. Flowers are fragrant. Flowers give way to oval green drupes (olives to 1.5 long) which ripen to black. Each olive contains a single pit. Olives from this species are commercially harvested as eating olives and for production of olive oils. A large number of different commercial varieties are grown for fruit production.
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