Friday 13 January 2017


The olive (Olea europaea) is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin (the adjoining coastal areas of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa) as well as northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south end 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 olive derives from Latin olīva which is cognate with the Greek ἐλαία (elaía) ultimately from Mycenaean Greek 𐀁𐀨𐀷 (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. The climate of the Southern parts of Australia are conducive to the culture of the olive and numerous olive groves are now to be found in Victoria and South Australia. In Melbourne olive trees are common in gardens, but also planted in nature strips along streets. Here are some olives in the Darebin Parklands, showing the clusters of still small fruit.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

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