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The olive, botanical name Olea europaea, meaning 'European olive', is cultivated in all the countries of the Mediterranean, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, North and South America and South Africa.

The olive's fruit, also called an "olive", is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil; it is one of the core ingredients in Middle Eastern cuisine and Mediterranean cuisine.

It is short and squat and rarely exceeds 8–15 m (25–50 ft) in height.
Olive oil has long been considered sacred and holy. The olive branch has often been a symbol of abundance, glory, and peace. The leafy branches of the olive tree were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures as emblems of benediction and purification, and they were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars. Today, olive oil is still used in many religious ceremonies. Over the years, the olive has also been used to symbolize wisdom, fertility, power, and purity.

The Great Seal of the United States first used in 1782 depicts an eagle clutching an olive branch in one of its talons, indicating the power of peace.

Type: Hardy shrub

Location: Sun

Hardiness zones: 8-14

Seeds per pack: 3

Germination: Scratch the surface of the seed with sandpaper to help water penetrate the hard shell. Plant just below the surface of a seed-start mix, water, and place at temperatures of around 13 Celsius for at least 30 days to break down the dormancy that is within them. At the end of the pre-treatment period, then keep in a warm place, away from hot sunshine at between 20-27 Celsius. Germination should begin within 4-6 weeks but may take up to 4 months.

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