The olive (Olea europaea, meaning "olive from/of Europe") is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in much of Africa, the Mediterranean Basin from Portugal to the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and southern Asia as far east as China, as well as the Canary Islands, Mauritius and Réunion.
The species is cultivated in many places and considered naturalised in France, Corsica, Crimea, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Java, Norfolk Island, California and Bermuda. 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 ŏlīva ("olive fruit", "olive tree"; "olive oil" is ŏlĕum) which is cognate with the Greek ἐλαία (elaía, "olive fruit", "olive tree") and ἔλαιον (élaion, "olive oil"). The oldest attested forms of the latter two words in Greek are respectively the Mycenaean e-ra-wa, and e-ra-wo or e-rai-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.
The word "oil" in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fruit. Melbourne has an excellent climate for raising olives and olive trees are commonly seen in streets and gardens of Melbourne. Numerous olive groves have now been established in close proximity to the City. At the moment, olive trees are in full bloom in Melbourne and it looks as though it will be a bumper season this year!
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.