The olive is an evergreen tree which grows up to forty feet tall. It has green fruit which turns to a purple color when ripe. It grows in a warm dry climate as in California, Florida and Arizona. It cannot survive below 15 °Fahrenheit. Olives are native to the Mediterranean area.
   Olive trees can live for over a century. The leaves are opposite, leathery and have a smooth margin. The white flower has parts in fours or divisible by fours. The fruit is classified botanically as a drupe. The exocarp and mesocarp is oily, fleshy and edible. The stony endocarp or pit contains one seed. Olive trees are propagated by stem cuttings, seeds or by knaurs, woody knots on the old trunk.
   The olive has a glucoside which gives the raw fruit a very bitter taste. A solution of lye and sodium hydroxide removes it.
   Olive is also the name of a plant family (Oleaceae) which includes syringa, privet, and forsythia.