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Olea europaea (Olive), Lisbon, Portugal
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Tribe: Oleeae
Genus: Olea

Enaimon Raf.
Leuranthus Knobl.
Pachyderma Blume
Picricarya Dennst.
Pogenda Raf.
Steganthus Knobl.
Stereoderma Blume
Tetrapilus Lour.

Olea /ˈlə/[3] is a genus of about 40 species in the family Oleaceae, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of southern Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australasia.[2] They are evergreen trees and shrubs, with small, opposite, entire leaves. The fruit is a drupe. Leaves of Olea contain trichosclereids.[4]

For humans, the most important species is by far the Olive (Olea europaea), native to the Mediterranean region, Africa, southwest Asia and the Himalayas.[5][6] O. paniculata is a larger tree, attaining a height of 15–18 m in the forests of Queensland, and yielding a hard and tough timber. The yet harder wood of the Black Ironwood O. laurifolia, an inhabitant of Natal, is important in South Africa.

Olea species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Double-striped Pug.


Species accepted:[2][7][8]

  1. Olea ambrensis H.Perrier - Madagascar
  2. Olea borneensis Boerl. - Borneo, Philippines
  3. Olea brachiata (Lour.) Merr. - Guangdong, Hainan, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Anambas Islands
  4. Olea capensis L. – Small Ironwood - Comoros, Madagascar; Africa from South Africa north to Ethiopia, Sudan, Zaire, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, etc
  5. Olea capitellata Ridl. - Pahang
  6. Olea caudatilimba L.C.Chia - Yunnan
  7. Olea chimanimani Kupicha - Chimanimani Mountains of Mozambique and Zimbabwe
  8. Olea cordatula H.L.Li - Vietnam
  9. Olea dioica Roxb. - India, Bangladesh, Myanmar
  10. Olea europaea L. – Olive - Mediterranean, Africa, southwestern Asia, Himalayas; naturalized many other places
  11. Olea exasperata Jacq. - South Africa
  12. Olea gagnepainii Knobl. - Thailand, Laos
  13. Olea gamblei C.B.Clarke - Sikkim
  14. Olea hainanensis H.L.Li - Vietnam, Laos, Guangdong, Hainan
  15. Olea javanica (Blume) Knobl. - Philippines, western Indonesia
  16. Olea lancea Lam. - Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues Island
  17. Olea laxiflora H.L.Li - Yunnan
  18. Olea moluccensis Kiew - Maluku
  19. Olea neriifolia H.L.Li - Hainan
  20. Olea palawanensis Kiew - Palawan
  21. Olea paniculata R.Br. - Yunnan, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Kashmir, Malaysia, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu
  22. Olea parvilimba (Merr. & Chun) B.M.Miao - Hainan, Vietnam
  23. Olea polygama Wight - India, Sri Lanka
  24. Olea puberula Ridl. - Peninsular Malaysia
  25. Olea rosea Craib - Yunnan, Thailand
  26. Olea rubrovenia (Elmer) Kiew - Borneo, Philippines
  27. Olea salicifolia Wall. ex G.Don - Assam, southern China, Indochina
  28. Olea schliebenii Knobl. - Tanzania
  29. Olea tetragonoclada L.C.Chia - Guangxi
  30. Olea tsoongii (Merr.) P.S.Green - Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan
  31. Olea welwitschii (Knobl.) Gilg & G.Schellenb. - central and eastern Africa from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe
  32. Olea wightiana Wall. ex G.Don - India
  33. Olea woodiana Knobl. - South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania
  34. Olea yuennanensis Hand.-Mazz. - China
  35. Olea hoschstetteri - Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Formerly placed here[edit]

List source :[7]


  1. ^ a b  GRIN (April 4, 2006). "Olea information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, genus Olea
  3. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  4. ^ Flora of China v 15 p 295, 木犀榄属 mu xi lan shu, Olea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 7. 1753.
  5. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Olea europaea L.
  6. ^ Altevista Flora Italiana, Oleastro, Olea europaea L.
  7. ^ a b GRIN. "Species in GRIN for genus Olea". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Name - Olea L. subordinate taxa". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved May 20, 2011.