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Products > Olea europaea 'Manzanillo'
Olea europaea 'Manzanillo' - Olive

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Oleaceae (Olives)
Origin: Mediterranean (Europe)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Insignificant
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 20-30 feet
Width: 15-25 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Olea europaea 'Manzanillo' (Olive) - An evergreen (ever gray) tree growing to 30 feet tall by 25 feet wide with gray bark and leathery gray narrow leaves. As with other olives it produces small pollen-rich white flowers in spring and fruit develops through summer into fall. The fruit on this variety is of medium size (about 1 inch long) and is prized for making good quality black olives and with enough oil for pressing oil.

Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. It is heat and drought tolerant once established and tolerant to temperatures down to around 15 degrees F without damage - older trees more cold tolerant with some tip die back.

Olea europaea 'Manzanillo' is the most commonly planted commercial variety with a lower, more spreading growth habit than many other olive cultivars and it is one of the most often used varieties in commercial growing. It has smaller fruit than another commonly planted variety 'Sevillano', but with higher oil content. Olive pollen has been identified as a cause for "hay fever" and seasonal allergies to susceptible individuals so care sound be taken to not to situate plants too close to dwellings of those with a pollen allergy. The Manzanillo variety was imported from Spain in the late 1800s and replaced the then popular 'Mission' variety as it had larger fruit and was less susceptible to spring frosts and disease.

The origins of the olive tree are obscured since it is the oldest known cultivated tree in history, dating back more than 5,000 years. It is often cited as originally native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south of the Caspian Sea but there is some thought that it was derived from another plant Oleaster olea that still grows in North Africa and southern Europe. The name for the genus is derived from the Latin word for this plant 'oliva' which came from the Greek word 'elaía' and the English word "oil" is from this name for the tree and its fruit. The specific epithet refers to the area of its origin. We also grow the near fruitless variety Olea europaea 'Wilson Fruitless' and the dense growing dwarf variety Olea europaea 'Montra'

This information about Olea europaea 'Manzanillo' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.