How many varieties or species of olives are there? | The Olive Oil Source

How many varieties or species of olives are there?


I've been reading your web site in preparation for a story I'm writing in CHOW magazine about olive oil. I gather from it that there are 600 species of olives. I've also heard there are thousands of olive varieties. Can you clarify?

Olive Oil News

Different species imply that they cannot reproduce successfully. All of the olive varietals are the same species so they can pollinate one another. The analogy would be different breeds of dogs. They are all the same species and can interbreed but if two different breeds ( or varietals in the case of olives) come together, the progeny may have a mix of characteristics different from the parents. That's  why olives are usually propagated from cuttings, so all the trees created are exact clones of the parent. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Submit a question to The Olive Oil Source!

Please note that answers provided are not intended be relied upon and are not a substitute for a thorough and complete evaluation by a professional in the given area. Never disregard professional advice because of something you have read on this web site.