All About The Olive Tree
Common Names: Olive, European Olive
Origin: Native to Mediterranean Europe, Asia, and Africa
Height: 26 – 49 Feet Tall
Uses: The fruit and oil of the olive tree are commonly known food sources. Olive oil has been used in religious ceremonies for anointing, as a fuel source for temple candles and as the flame for the original Olympic games. Olive wood, one of the hardest of all woods, has a variety of uses from rosary beads to home furnishings.
History, Fun Facts and Legends:
- The olive tree is in the same plant family, Oleaceae, as jasmine and lilac.
- Olives and their oil are a few of the main ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine.
- Believed to originated 20–40 million years ago.
- Olive tree branches were used to form wreaths for the burial of the ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamen.
- Often considered a symbol of peace, fertility and wisdom.
- Oliveira do Mouchão, located in Portugal, is one of the oldest known olive trees still alive and has an estimated age of 3,350 years.
- Freshly picked olives are very bitter and require curing and fermentation to reduce the bitterness prior to consumption.
- Legends state all of the ancient Greek gods were born under an olive tree.
- Ancient Greek men were known to carry containers of perfumed olive oil on their belt or wrist.
- Olives and olive trees are mentioned extensively throughout sacred texts as well as in ancient poems such as the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer.
- Apryl Doster