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common name for the Oleaceae, a family of trees and shrubs (including climbing forms) of warm temperate climates and of the Old World tropics, especially Asia and the East Indies. Many are popular ornamentals, particularly the lilaclilac,
any plant of the genus Syringa, deciduous Old World shrubs or small trees of the family Oleaceae (olive family), widely cultivated as ornamentals. Since colonial days, the common lilac has been in America one of the best loved of the flowering shrubs, meriting its
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 (Syringa), true jasminejasmine
or jessamine
, any plant of the genus Jasminum of the family Oleaceae (olive family). The genus, which includes shrubs and clambering plants, is an Old World group, chiefly of tropical and subtropical regions but cultivated elsewhere, outdoors in mild
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 (Jasminum), privetprivet
, any plant of the genus Ligustrum, Old World shrubs or small trees of the family Oleaceae (olive family), some of which are common as hedge plants. Privet hedges are popular for their dark green leaves and their ease of cultivation even in adverse city conditions.
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 (Ligustrum), and forsythiaforsythia
, common name for any member of the small genus Forsythia of the family Oleaceae (olive family), European and Asian shrubs with abundant bell-shaped yellow flowers that appear before the leaves. They are easily cultivated and are used in hedges and borders.
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 genera; none of these has species native to the United States. Several indigenous species of ashash,
in botany, any plant of the genus Fraxinus of the family Oleaceae (olive family), trees and shrubs mainly of north temperate regions. The ashes are characterized by small clusters of greenish flowers and by fruits with long "wings" to aid in wind dispersal.
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 (Fraxinus) are valuable for timber in North America.

The true olive (Olea europaea) is the source of the fruit also called olive and of olive oil; it is the most commercially important member of the family. The olive tree, a small evergreen, has been cultivated since the beginning of historical times in its native Asia Minor. Its cultivation spread very early to all the Mediterranean countries, and this is still the chief area of production. It is now grown also in Australia, S Africa, Mexico, and California, where it was introduced (c.1769) at the San Diego mission by Spanish missionaries. The mission olive of today, a variety raised both for the table and oil, was developed from trees grown at California's missions.

The several hundred horticultural varieties of olives, many cultivated since ancient times, differ in appearance, flavor, and oil content. Some varieties have been developed especially for oil extraction, the chief use of the fruit. Of the eating olives, green olives are picked when full-grown but unripe, and are often pitted and stuffed with pimientos or anchovies. Ripe olives, usually purplish black, are richer in oil. Both green and ripe olives are treated with lye to remove the bitter quality and then packed in brine. Olive wood, hard and close-grained, is used for cabinetwork and furniture. Olive trees are subject to several diseases; the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, found in Europe for the first time in 2013, has devastated infected groves.

According to Greek mythology the olive was Athena's gift to mankind, and Athens was named in her honor for this gift. The olive branch has been the symbol of peace since before Christian times, because the oil could be used both to heal human ills and to calm troubled waters. The first vegetation seen by Noah after the Deluge was the branch of olive brought back by the dove, and a dove bearing an olive branch has also been used in art as a symbol of peace.

Olives are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales, family Oleaceae.

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You can't eat most olives straight off the tree, they contain a glycoside called oleuropein, which makes them intensely bitter. They need to be cured before they are edible. Most commercial olives are cured in Lye- (sodium hydroxide)-one of the main ingredients of Drano. Canned black olives have been pasteurized and soaked in ferrous gluconate – avoid them. The curing process is very tedious and takes up to 3 months. They need to be in water the whole time. The first month, the water needs to be replaces daily. Then salt water is added for the next month or two. Olives are rich in minerals, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, fats (both omega 3 and 6) High in vitamin A and E, many antioxidants, dissolves mucus. Really high in monounsaturated fat, which is good for heart, blood pressure and cholesterol. Olives are known for anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, allergies, diabetes, colon cancer, arthritis. For Olive oil- if you can, use only STONE CRUSHED cold pressed extra virgin olive oil in dark bottles. Most “cold pressed” brands are made with machines that press them up to 160 degrees which kills the good properties. Stone pressed is best. The best part of an olive tree is... OLIVE LEAVES contain one of the most powerful immune system substances known, a potent antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, antiparasite and antioxidant used for flu, meningitis, encephalitis, herpes of all forms, HIV, AIDS, pneumonia, blood poisoning, dental, urinary tract infections, TB, malaria, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergic symptoms, gives energy, stops painful joint ache, normalizes heartbeat, relieves the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, lowers blood pressure, muscle spasms in the intestines and heart arrhythmia, stimulates immune system, restores energy, boosts stamina. Particularly effective against herpes 1, 2, 6 and 7, shingles, Epstein Barr virus, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, severe diarrhea, blood poisoning, ear, urinary tract and surgical infections. You can make tea, grind dry leaves into powder or use the even more powerful extract.


Any plant of the genus Olea in the order Schrophulariales, especially the evergreen olive tree (O. europea) cultivated for its drupaceous fruit, which is eaten ripe (black olives) and unripe (green), and is of high oil content.


a. a yellow-green colour
b. (as adjective): an olive coat
2. an angler's name for the dun of various mayflies or an artificial fly in imitation of this


1. an evergreen oleaceous tree, Olea europaea, of the Mediterranean region but cultivated elsewhere, having white fragrant flowers, and edible shiny black fruits
2. the fruit of this plant, eaten as a relish and used as a source of olive oil
3. the wood of the olive tree, used for ornamental work
4. any of various trees or shrubs resembling the olive
5. of, relating to, or made of the olive tree, its wood, or its fruit
References in periodicals archive ?
Top, Michael Dipple, head chef at Glynn Purnell's restaurant, Purnell's Bistro, and his confit English chicken thigh with polenta and sun-dried tomato and black olive marjoram
Serves four Prep time - 20 minutes Cooking time - 15 minutes Ingredients 450g Specially Selected Jersey Royal Potatoes 90g pack Specially Selected Parma Ham 200g cherry tomatoes 1 bunch spring onions 70g bag Freshleaf rocket leaves 2 cloves garlic 50g Cucina black olives 150ml Cowbelle soured cream 1 tsp Bramwells mustard 15ml The Pantry lemon juice 40ml Solesta olive oil Black pepper and salt Method 1 Put the Jersey Royal potatoes into a medium saucepan, cover with cold water, season with salt and add the garlic cloves (no need to peel).
INGREDIENTS: 400g dried pappardelle 1tbsp olive oil 400g cooking chorizo, sliced into 5mm discs 250g vine-ripened tomatoes, diced 1tsp dried chilli flakes 2tbsp dried oregano 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 20 fresh marinated anchovy fillets, drained Salt and pepper 200g pitted black olives, halved 4tbsp chopped parsley Juice of 1/2 a lemon Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling METHOD: Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
The black olive soil at the base of the salad is actually finely chopped and oven-dried black olives.
Scandinavian open fish quarters Makes one Ingredients 50g (2oz) smoked salmon 25g (1oz) prawns either plain or in mayonnaise or cocktail sauce One rollmop herring 50g (2oz) tuna mayonnaise One thick slice rye bread or wholemeal or granary if preferred To garnish Rocket leaves Sliced vine tomatoes Black olives Chopped parsley Black pepper Method The bread may be buttered first if desired but with the fat content of mayonnaise and oily fish, a spread may not be needed.
Add the lightly cooked green beans, sliced tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, new potatoes, black olives and anchovies (drain the oil from the anchovies, leaving a little if you prefer).
serves two) Takes 5 minutes to make, 20 minutes to cook INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp olive oil 1 red onion, sliced into wedges 100g Marks & Spencer Terribly Clever Fish Casserole Sauce Base 250g passata 250ml fresh vegetable stock, hot 180g new potatoes, halved 200g mixed seafood (such as skinless cod fillet, cubed, and peeled raw king prawns) 2 tbsp Waitrose Cooks' Ingredients Puttanesca Mix (or a mixture of 3-4 chopped black olives, 2 chopped anchovies, 1 tsp chopped capers, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and a splash of white wine vinegar, mixed) Small bunch of fresh dill METHOD 1.
Wrap a flour tortilla around seasoned black beans, mashed sweet potato, rice, and avocado, and top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and salsa.
Italian aubergine tray-bake Serves 4 Ingredients 2 aubergines, sliced into half moons 2 tbsp olive oil 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes 2 garlic cloves, crushed 70g pack black olives (we used Crespo dry black olives with herbs) small pack basil, leaves picked, 3/4 torn 2 ciabatta rolls, torn into chunks 150g ball of mozzarella, torn Method 1 Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Here the head chef at The Monro in Duke Street, Liverpool, brings us his recipe for seabass over spaghetti with capers, black olives and anchovies.
Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp red wine 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary 1 clove garlic, crushed 4 x 1cm thinly cut (approx 125g) feather steaks For the black olive butter: 50g butter, softened 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 25g pitted black olives in brine, drained and roughly chopped Method Place the oil, red wine, rosemary and garlic in a shallow dish and whisk together.