Brown Olive
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Brown Olive
E Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Brown Olive, Wild olive, Indian olive • Himachal: काहु Kahu, Kan, काओ Kao, Bairbanj • Kannada: ಜುಲಿಪೆ Julipe
Botanical name: Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata    Family: Oleaceae (Jasmine family)
Synonyms: Olea cuspidata, Olea monticola, Olea asiatica

Brown Olive is an evergreen tree usually growing 2-10 m tall, but occasionally reaching up to 15 m in height. Its oppositely arranged leaves are elongated in shape, 6-10 cm long and 1-4 cm wide, and often with hooked tips. These leaves have glossy dark green upper surfaces and greenish or yellowish-brown lower surfaces. Tts small creamy-white flowers have four petals, about 3 mm long, that are joined into a very short tube at the base. The flowers are borne in small clusters at the ends of the branches or in the leaf axils. Flowering occurs mostly during spring. The distinctive ellipsoid fruits are green when immature and turn purplish-black in color as they mature. These fruit, 1.5-3 cm long and 0.6-2 cm wide, have a single stone in the centre surrounded by oily flesh. Brown Olive is found in Western Himalaya, at altitudes of 600-2800 m, and in Africa and West Asia.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh.

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