What is the name of the flower of the olive tree?

The flower of the olive tree is small and whitish

Image – Wikimedia/Nefronus

In the Mediterranean region we find an evergreen tree that can live approximately 500-600 years, and whose flowering is highly anticipated, because after it the ripening of the olives that we like so much occurs. For this reason, it is interesting to know more about this part of the plant, since after all, without it, it would not produce fruits.

So I'm going to tell you what is the name of the olive flower, when it appears, and what it needs to bloom as soon as possible.

What is the name of the olive flower?

The flower of our protagonist receives several names, such as cadillo, plot, eskimo or rapa, depending on the area. Each people has its own culture, its own language, and if we take into account how important plants are for all of us, it should not surprise us that we call them something that is very much our own. Of course, this can later confuse us, because it is often the case that the same common name is used to refer to several plants, while with the scientific names, being universal (in part, because each plant only has one accepted by botanists), this does not happen.

But it is still interesting to know these names, since, as I say, they are also part of our culture. And, let's admit it, when we talk about plants we don't usually call them by their botanical name, but by the one we have heard most throughout our lives. But let's not get sidetracked.

What is the olive flower like and when does it appear?

Olive blossoms appear in spring

Image - Wikimedia / H. Zell

The olive tree produces flowers in short clusters, about five centimeters maximum, during spring (between April and May). said flowers They are small, measuring less than 0,5 cm.; in addition, they have four white petals and an orange center.

Also, it is important to know that there are two types of flowers: the hermaphrodites, which are the ones that will produce the fruits, and the staminiferous ones that only have stamens and, therefore, are male, so they cannot produce olives.

At what age does the olive tree begin to flower?

The olive tree is a tree that usually takes a long time to produce its flowers. During its first years it grows a lot and at an interesting rate (around 30-40cm/year), so we can think that it will bloom soon. But this is not so, since we are talking about a plant that, in order to bear fruit, it first has to spend some time (years) in the ground, so that its roots "grab" it well and begin to supply water and nutrients to the rest of the tree.

For this reason, we have to be patient if our intention is to grow an olive tree from seed, because the normal thing is that its first flowers do not sprout until after about 10 years. If it is a cutting, of course it will take much less time, about 4-5 years if it comes from a semi-woody branch. But in the same way we will have to provide some basic care for it to flourish and bear fruit.

Why does the olive flower cause allergies?

Our protagonist is a tree that belongs to the Oleaceae family, a family that it shares with other trees that are very popular in gardens, such as the lilac (Syringa vulgaris), the ash (Fraxinus) or the privet (Ligustrum). Some people, including myself, can have a very bad time if we have any of these plants nearby: our body overreacts to pollen, causing our eyes to become irritated and/or red, we sneeze, and/or we even cough a little. Why?

Well, the answer to that question would have to be given to you by a doctor, but from what I have read this it can be due to overexposure, as well as of course to a high concentration of said pollen. In other words, it is 'easier' for someone who has lived all their life in the Mediterranean to have an allergy to olive tree pollen than someone who lives in Norway, for example, where the climate is too cold for this plant and, therefore, So much where it can't grow.

For this reason, if you also have an allergy to the olive tree, the best thing you can do is not leave the house during the middle of the day, or if you have to, wear a mask (yes, the famous FFP2 serve you).

What are the needs of the olive tree?

For the olive tree to flourish it is very important that the weather is mild, and even warm. Let us remember that an autochthonous species of the Mediterranean area, where temperatures are around 35-40ºC maximum (in summer), and -7ºC in some points during the coldest month of the year, which depending on the area can be January or February. This means that, in order to flower, there does not have to be late frosts (in March/April), otherwise the flowers will be ruined.

In addition, it needs to be in the sun all day. It is not a plant that can ever be in the shade; in fact, from its youth it grows vertically, towards the most powerful source of light, the sun.

Centennial olive tree in Mallorca
Related article:
How long does an olive tree live?

Is it good to water the olive tree in flower?

The olive tree blooms in spring

Image - Wikimedia / Júlio Reis

In the town where I live, one of the driest on the island of Mallorca (only about 350mm of precipitation falls on average, between spring, late summer and a little in winter), there are people who have olive and carob trees that take care of themselves; that is to say, they are not irrigated or anything, at most sometimes they are fertilized with organic fertilizers.

What I mean by this is that, yes, you can water your olive tree in flower, but if it has been in the ground for a year or more, it is not necessary. Obviously, if you have it in a pot, you will have to water it because otherwise it will dry out. Do it once or at most twice a week.

What do you think of the olive flower? Do you find it pretty?

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