Olea europaea (species)

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Scope note
Species of small evergreen tree native to coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin, western Asia, northern Africa, and the northern Middle East. It has long been cultivated for its drupaceous fruit that is an important food and source of oil. The wood is resistant to decay; if the top dies back, a new trunk will often arise from the roots. The species may have arisen in northern tropical Africa, then spread to the Mediterranean Basin. It had been cultivated on Crete since 3,500 BCE; fossilized leaves of the genus date to 37,000 years before present. Sometimes divided into several subspecies.
Olea europaea
Accepted term: 10-Jun-2024