Olea Europaea (Wild Olive Tree)
At lower altitudes dominate the Maquis forests, with several dominant species, one of which is the Olea europaea.
The Wild Olive tree is a long-living bush, essentially immortal. It has many branches, that get twisted, which, when dried, create new secondary shoots from the base and keeps growing, thus, the tree continues its life. Its leaves are small, short, oval, with a dark green on top and silver-white underneath. The silver color at the bottom of the olive leaf is due to the large number of multi-cellular blemishes present in the lower epidermis. Its fruit are small black olives that produce excellent quality oil. It is the famous ‘Agriolado’ (Wild Olive oil), used in folk medicine as a medicine, on the skin and for other diseases.
The history of the Olive Tree is as old as the history of organized human societies. There are innumerable written sources, traditions, myths, excavation data, etc. proving the relationship of the Olive Tree with the history of man on Earth. Ancient Greeks regarded the olive as a symbol of glory and victory, which is why the Olympians were crowned with a wreath made from wild olive branches called a ‘Kallistefano’.