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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Family description, key to genera by Thomas J. Rosatti; treatment of genera by James Henrickson, except as noted

Perennial herb to tree [vine], hairs 0 or peltate or not; rarely dioecious. Leaf: simple to odd-pinnately compound, alternate or generally opposite, deciduous or evergreen; stipules 0. Inflorescence: various; flowers >= 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; calyx generally minute (0), tube cup-shaped, lobes 4–15; petals (0)4–6(8), generally fused; nectar disk often present; stamens (0)2(4–5), epipetalous; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers 2, each 2–4 ovuled, placenta axile, style 1, stigma generally 2-lobed. Fruit: drupe, capsule, or winged achene. Seed: 1 per chamber.
± 25 genera, 900 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated for ornamental (Forsythia; Jasminum, jasmine; Ligustrum, privet; Syringa, lilac) or food (Olea, olive). [Lee et al. 2007 Molec Biol Evol 24:1161–1180] —Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Jensen et al. 2002 Phytochemisty 60:213–231; Kim & Jansen 1998 Amer J Bot 85(6): Suppl. 139; Wallander & Albert 2000 Amer J Bot 87(12):1827–1841]

Key to Oleaceae

Tree [shrub]. Leaf: simple, opposite, short-petioled, entire, leathery. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, axillary or terminal. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx 4-toothed to -lobed; corolla rotate, lobes 4; stamens 2; ovary 1. Fruit: drupe.
20 species: tropics, warm temperate Eurasia, Africa. (Greek: ancient name)

O. europaea L.
Tree generally < 10 m. Stem: trunks becoming gnarled; bark gray, with age furrowed. Leaf: petiole 2–7 mm; blade 20–70 mm, 6–16 mm wide, narrowly elliptical to oblanceolate, green adaxially, closely silver-scaly adaxially. Inflorescence: axillary, narrow raceme-like panicle, 15–40 mm, branches opposite; bract 1–3 mm; pedicel 1–3 mm; flowers in 1–3s. Flower: calyx cup-like, 4-toothed, ± 1 mm; corolla 2.5–4 mm, white, tube < 1 mm, lobes 4, 2–3.5 mm, 1.5–2 mm wide, ovate-elliptical, margins inrolled; stamens 2, filaments < 1 mm; anthers yellow, 1.5–2.5 mm; ovary superior, ± 1 mm, style < 1 mm, stigma ± head-shaped, ± 1 mm; some ovaries not developing. Fruit: 9–20 mm, ovoid, oily, green, becoming black.
2n=46. Generally waif, persisting from cultivation; < 200 m. s North Coast Ranges, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, w Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, n Channel Islands (Santa Cruz Island); native to western Asia. [Olea europaea subsp. africana (Mill.) P.S. Green] Introduced widely; cultivated for food and cooking oil in Mediterranean for ± 6000 years. Feb–Jun {Weed listed by Cal-IPC} [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Olea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Olea europaea Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.