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Useful Tropical Plants

Olea europaea cuspidata

(Wall. & G.Don) Cif.

Oleaceae

+ Synonyms

Linociera lebrunii Staner

Olea africana Mill.

Olea asiatica Desf.

Olea aucheri A.Chev. ex Ehrend.

Olea chrysophylla Lam.

Olea cuspidata Wall. & G.Don

Olea ferruginea Royle

Olea indica Kleinhof ex Burm.f.

Olea kilimandscharica Knobl.

Olea maderensis (Lowe) Rivas Mart. & del Arco

Olea monticola Gand.

Olea schimperi Gand.

Olea similis Burch.

Olea somaliensis Baker

Olea subtrinervata Chiov.

Olea verrucosa (Willd.) Link

Common Name: African Olive

Olea europaea cuspidata
Ripe fruits on a plant in Australia
Photograph by: the weed one
Creative Commons License
Olea europaea cuspidata Olea europaea cuspidata Olea europaea cuspidata Olea europaea cuspidata Olea europaea cuspidata Olea europaea cuspidata

General Information

African olive is a slow-growing evergreen shrub or a small tree with a dense, rounded crown; it usually reaches a height of 5 - 10 metres, but occasional specimens can be up to 18 metres tall[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild as a source of food, medicines and wood for local use. It is planted for reforestation and is also grown as an ornamental[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Eastern and southern Africa, through Arabia to Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal and China.

Habitat

Widely distributed in its native range of southern Africa occurring in a variety of habitats, usually near water, on stream banks, in riverine fringes, but also in open woodland, among rocks and in mountain ravines[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height8.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of moist to semi-arid areas of the tropics and subtropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 2,700 metres[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Plants grow best in areas where the mean annual temperature falls within the range 22 - 28°c, though they can tolerate 15 - 35°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Plants can resist some frost - dormant plants are killed by temperatures of -4°c, whilst young growth can be damaged at -1°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,000mm, tolerating 300 - 1,500mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Requires a sunny position, succeeding in most soils so long as they are well-drained[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Plants can succeed in soils of low fertility[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5, but tolerates 6 - 8.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. A much thinner flesh, but it can be used in the same way as olives[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The ovoid, thinly fleshy fruit is about 10 x 8 mm tapering to a sharp tip, dark brown or black when mature[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

An oil is extracted from the seed[
387
Title
Economic Products of India. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Watt. G.
Publisher
Government of India: Calcutta.
Year
1883
ISBN
 
Description
Although over 100 years old, it still contains a wealth of information on useful plants. Many of the botanical names have been changed since then, so you have to check for up to date names. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. This oil would doubtless take an important place in the oil trade were it procurable in large quantities, for it is of as good quality as the ordinary olive oil[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
387
Title
Economic Products of India. Volume 1.
Publication
 
Author
Watt. G.
Publisher
Government of India: Calcutta.
Year
1883
ISBN
 
Description
Although over 100 years old, it still contains a wealth of information on useful plants. Many of the botanical names have been changed since then, so you have to check for up to date names. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The leaves are soaked in a pot containing local brew to make it strong[
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
].

The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

A root or bark decoction is used as a remedy for malaria[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree is planted for reforestation[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Its high drought tolerance suggests that it is a good candidate for reforestation in semi-arid zones[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

The heartwood is dark brown or red-brown to yellow with dark figuring; the sapwood is light brown. The wood is fine-textured, hard, heavy, close and even grained. It polishes and finishes well. It is highly prized for turning, and is often used to make ornaments such as wall clocks and vases. Jewellery items such as beads, brooches and bangles are also made from wild olive wood. Although the tree does not usually produce sawable logs or branches, there are still several furniture makers that, with great effort produce furniture from the limited quantities of timber. The wood is also used locally for building poles, flooring, carvings, pestles and fencing posts[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
].
The wood is used as a fuel and to make charcoal[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
364
Title
Field Guide to the Moist Forest Trees of Tanzania.
Publication
 
Author
Lovett J.C.; Ruffo C.K.; Gereau R.E.; Taplin J.R.D
Website
http://www.york.ac.uk/res/celp/webpages/projects/ecology/tree%20guide/introduction.htm
Publisher
Frontier
Year
0
ISBN
1-873070-33-0
Description
A lovely little book giving a basic identification guide to more than 650 species of trees growing in Tanzania. It is also available to view on the internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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