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Olea L.

Protologue: Sp. Pl 1: 8 (1753)

Type species: Olea europaea L.

Synonyms: Enaimon, Leuranthus, Pachyderma, Picricarya, Pogenda, Tetrapilus, Steganthus, Stereoderma

Distribution: One species in the Mediterranean area and about 40 in S. Africa, S. Asia, E. Australia and New Caledonia

Number of species: over 40

Description (from Flora of China): Trees or shrubs, evergreen, sometimes polygamodioecious. Leaves opposite, simple, petiolate; leaf blade entire or serrate. Inflorescences axillary or terminal panicles, sometimes racemes or umbels. Flowers small, bisexual or unisexual. Calyx small, campanulate, 4-lobed to subtruncate; lobes deltate or ovate, usually ciliate. Corolla with a short tube, 4-lobed; lobes shorter or longer than tube, usually valvate in bud, cucullate. Stamens 2(-4), inserted at base of corolla tube, included; filaments short or absent; anthers ovate, elliptic, or subrounded. Ovules 2 in each locule, pendulous. Style short or absent; stigma capitate or slightly 2-cleft. Fruit a drupe; endocarp thick and hard, sometimes papery. Seeds often 1; endosperm fleshy or bony; radicle short, upward.

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