SkyLinesLandscape The social and information hub for landscape architecture

Olives — what is their peculiarity? Useful properties for humans, 120 photos of fruits

The olive tree, or European olive, has been cultivated by man since ancient times. The ancient Greeks considered it a divine creation of Athena herself. The fruits and oils of this plant have become an essential ingredient for almost any Mediterranean cuisine, and the olive branch adorns the coats of arms of many countries and international organizations.

Currently it is also used for decorative purposes, elegant forms are loved by landscape designers and owners of home greenhouses.

It is an evergreen tree with a curved trunk. The bark is specific, easily recognizable structure, stony gray shade. The crown is wide, spreading. The leaves are oblong in shape, green on the sunny side, pale green on the inside with a silvery sheen.

They are updated once or twice a year, at the base of each leaf there is a kidney that is in dormant mode and begins active growth when the leaf is damaged, which gives the plant high vitality. Life expectancy can reach several centuries.

Flowering takes place in the second half of spring — the first half of summer. The fruits of olives are egg—shaped, with a pulp of an oily consistency and a medium-sized stone. The color varies from light yellow to brown-chestnut, depending on ripeness.

The average length is 2-4 cm, width 1.5-2 cm, weight directly depends on maturity. Full ripening occurs in winter, but depending on the purpose of application, the crop is often harvested unripe.

What is the difference from olives?

In fact, it's the same thing. The confusion began with the Soviet GOST standards, relevant to this day, in which these synonyms can be interpreted as different fruits. As a result, there is an opinion among the domestic philistine that they grow on different plants and differ in color, olives are black, olives are green, some even cite as proof a photo of an olive tree with dark fruits.

But in nature there is no coal color like store-bought olives. It is caused by a special method of preservation, in which oxygen saturation is used to accelerate the harvesting process. The natural ripe color is brown, purple or dark brown.

Area of growth

The usual climate is where olives grow — heat, sun and eternal summer. This is the entire Mediterranean region from Israel to Spain, as well as India, Australia, Central America. In Russia, they are found on the coast of the Krasnodar Territory and in the Crimea, but they are not cultivated in industrial volumes.

In harsher latitudes, it is possible to grow in greenhouse conditions, or at home, right on the windowsill — the root system lends itself perfectly to oppression, which makes it possible to use in the decorative bonsai style.


There are more than two hundred varieties of olives, most of them were created by breeders in order to increase the yield and increase resistance to cold. There are two types according to the scope of application:

Oily, for the production of olive oil.

Canteens, characterized by large fruits and good taste qualities, are used fresh for cooking and for canning.

The leader in the number of cultivated varieties is Greece. In this country, each region has its own type of olive, of which we note Halkidiki and Kalamata. One of the most beloved in Russia has become an Italian giant called Vittoria, its gastronomic qualities are so good that no additives are used for pickling.

Representatives of France, in particular Nyon and Picolini, as always, will delight gourmets with sophistication unlike other types, and will offer a piquant bitterness or a refreshing salty taste.

Spanish varieties are considered to be the best for canning. They have a soft, pliable pulp, and the separation of the bone does not cause problems. This country is also a leader in total cultivation and export of olives

How to grow home

Recently, it has become popular to keep fruit-bearing plants right in the apartment, on thematic forums you can increasingly see photos of olive trees grown at home, in which they rarely reach a height of more than two meters, and an artificial method can achieve dwarfism for decorative purposes.

With proper care, you can get up to 3 kg of harvest every two years. Practically no diseases and pests are terrible if there are any pathological changes - most likely it's about improper watering or overkill with fertilizers.

It is necessary to take into account the fact that the plant is bisexual, it requires cross-pollination, and in order for the fruiting and reproduction of olives to occur, it is better to plant seedlings of both sexes and keep them next to each other, possibly in one wide pot.

How to distinguish — they will tell you in nurseries, it is much easier to buy ready-made cuttings than to try to grow them yourself from seeds.


In order for the spring flowering to please the eye with a lush inflorescence, there is a little trick — the climate in the apartment is stable, and in order for the pet to feel the winter, you need to simulate a "cold season" with a temperature of 10-13 degrees celsius. A glazed terrace or balcony with insulation is suitable. All internal processes will slow down at the same time, "hibernation" will occur.

To increase the chance of survival and get a healthy plant, you need to provide a number of conditions:

To choose a soil similar to the one in which the olive lives in its natural environment — these are sandstones and loamy soils. Sold in hardware stores.

The ideal temperature will be room temperature, in winter it is worth avoiding cold drafts from the window or doors.

Place it at the widest window in the house — to get maximum light. If there are no such opportunities, it would not be superfluous to purchase an artificial lighting device.

It is important to monitor soil moisture. It should not be too dry, but excess moisture should be avoided so that the root system does not start to rot.

An excellent option would be an automatic irrigation system with the specified parameters. In the heat, it is necessary to spray and wipe the leaves, without active air circulation, the dust will not disappear by itself.

To maintain growth, especially in the spring period with the beginning of flowering, it is necessary to feed the roots with mineral fertilizers, and leaves with special growth-stimulating compounds. So the renewal of greenery will be guaranteed to take place without failures. Annual transplant in the first five years of life.

Application in folk medicine

According to statistics, in the Mediterranean countries, the incidence of cardiovascular pathologies is significantly lower than in the nordic countries. And for the most part, this is provided by the kitchen, in which olive oils with a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids occupy an important place. Of the effects exerted on the body, it is worth highlighting:

  • improvement of the condition of blood vessels;
  • blood thinning and reducing the likelihood of thrombosis;
  • normalizes blood pressure;
  • binding effect on excessive cholesterol in the blood, preventing the development of atherosclerosis.

There is a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, in particular:

  • choleretic effect, prevention of the formation of gallstones in the gallbladder;
  • promotes the regeneration of liver cells;
  • cleanses the intestines of toxins, has a laxative effect;
  • improves digestion by stimulating the production of enzymes.

Regular consumption of olive oil has an impact on almost all organ systems, therefore it is included in many modern diets pursuing a variety of goals — from weight loss to substitution nutrition during pregnancy.

Photo of olives