olive(redirected from Inferior olive)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to Inferior olive: Accessory olivary nucleus
olive,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
..... Click the link for more information. (Syringa), true jasminejasmine
, 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
..... Click the link for more information. (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.
..... Click the link for more information. (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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. (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).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales, family Oleaceae.