It is a subtropical, broad-leafed, evergreen tree. The edible fruit is pressed to obtain olive oil. The trees ranging in height from 10 to 49 ft. or more has numerous branches; its leaves are leathery and lance shaped, dark-green above and silvery on the underside and are paired opposite each other on the twig. The wood is resistant to decay; if the top dries away, a new trunk will often arise from the roots. The tree's beauty has been extolled for thousands of years. The tree blooms in late spring, whitish flowers are borne in loose clusters in the axils of the leaves. Flowers are of two types, perfect, containing both male and female parts, which are capable of developing into the olive fruits; and male which contain only the pollen producing parts. The olive is wind-pollinated.
Olives are grown mainly for production of olive oil. Fresh, unprocessed olives are inedible because of their bitterness resulting from a glucoside that can be neutralised by treatment with a dilute alkali such as lye. Salt application also dispel some of the bitterness.
Benefit and uses of Olive.
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