|Fruitless Olive, Olea europaea 'Monher'.|
Plant Patent No. 5649 or Wilsonii.
Patent No. 5649.
Patent No. 5649.
Fruitless Olive Trees.
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The Wilsonii fruitless variety of olive was discovered in a grove of Manzanillo olives in 1979. It is a clean, evergreen, tree that does not produce fruit and therefore eliminates the messy fruit drop and possible allergy problems associated with fruit producing varieties.
The Wilsonii has a slow to moderate growth rate, and mature specimens of the tree obtain a height of 25 feet and 25 feet in diameter. These beautiful, dusty green trees grow very well in Arizona at lower elevations.
"Fruitless" will occasionally fruit, but not in the quantity found in other olive trees. It is thornless, pest free, drought tolerant, and long-lived -- a perfect tree for the lower desert areas of Arizona.
Olea europaea Majestic Beauty® Fruitless Olive, 'Monher' Plant Patent No. 5649 is another variety being offered in Arizona. It is a fruitless olive which has soft gray-green willowlike foliage and a smooth grey trunk which becomes gnarled as it ages.
The Majestic Beauty is smaller than the standard olive which normally reaches a height of 20 - 30 feet and produces no mature fruit. Olive trees require full sun.
Another fruitless olive that is popular is Olea europaea 'Swan Hill'.
Be very careful of whose nursery you purchase these trees from in Arizona. We bought three from the largest and most well known nursery in Arizona (they spend a lot on advertising on TV), and discovered five years later that they sold us common varieties (Olea europaea) that fruited. It cost us several hundred dollars to have them removed.
We have since learned from many other people that this same nursery did the same thing to them too!
The common fruiting olive, Olea europaea, meaning "Oil from/of Europe", is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin (the adjoining coastal areas of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa) as well as northern Iraq, and northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.
Fossilized leaves of Olea were found in the palaeosols of the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera) and were dated to be about 37,000 years old!
Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil.
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, and spread to nearby countries from there. It is estimated the cultivation of olive trees began more than 7000 years ago. As far back as 3000 BC, olives were grown commercially in Crete; they may have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan civilization.
The common olive tree, Olea europaea, produces a small, inconspicuous pale, white flower which is wind pollinated and produces large amounts of airborne pollen in the spring. Olive tree pollen is considered one of the most potent and sensitizing of the allergenic plants of Arizona. Because of it’s association with severe springtime allergy symptoms, the city’s of Phoenix, & Tucson, Arizona have banned the planting of fruiting Olive trees since the early 1960's.
Be sure to check your own cities laws before ever planting a fruiting variety.
The olive is one of the plants most cited in recorded literature.
The olive tree and olives are mentioned over 30 times in the Bible, in both the New and Old Testaments. It is one of the first plants mentioned in the Bible, and one of the most significant. ie., it was an olive branch that a dove brought back to Noah to demonstrate that the flood was over.
The Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem is mentioned several times.
We have seen several trees in the Garden of Gethsemane (from the Hebrew words "gat shemanim" or olive press) in Jerusalem, which are claimed to date back to the time of Jesus Christ.
Click on this link to see a short tour of the Garden of Gethsemane and some very old olive trees that may have been in the garden when Jesus was there. Garden of Gethsemane Olive Trees. photographed by Audrey DeLange.
Height: Slow growing, up to 25 to 30 feet. tall, with a spread up to 25 feet.
Trunk: 12 to 18 inches in diameter.
Flowers: Normally no flowers, but can have small fragrant, creamy white to yellow and tubular in shape flowers in late spring. They grow in small clusters.
Blooming Time: If they were to bloom, in southern Arizona, March - April. Phoenix Area, April - May.
Fruit: Should have no fruit. If they were to have fruit, it is green fruit in late summer; turns redish to black as it ripens.
Leaves: The leaves are 1 to 3" in length, alternate, simple, silver gray to gray - green.
Found: Fruitless olives are hybrids. The common olive tree is native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin. The USDA claims that the common olive is native to the USA (CA, HI).
Elevation: 0 to 3,200 feet.
Hardiness: Said to be hardy to 15 °F. But we don't recommend taking that chance.
Soil pH requirements:
Habitat: Desert canyons and cliffs on rocky limestone soils. It needs good drainage and aeration. A sunny, warm, and well drained position. Drought, and frost tolerant. Also used for xeriscape landscaping in lower elevations in the Phoenix and Tucson areas of Arizona.
Miscellaneous: Photos Taken January 25, 2006. Arrowhead Ranch, Glendale, Arizona. A low water use landscaping plant in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Maintenance: Low.
|© 1966 - Present, Audrey, Eve, & George DeLange|