- Olea are small or medium sized evergreen trees with simple, opposite leathery leaves. Flowers are in terminal or axillary panicles, and are small, whitish and followed by an ovoid, oblong or globose drupe (fruit).
- O. europaea has a rugged, much-branched habit and slow growth, eventually 4.5-9m. Leaves are narrowly obovate or oval, to 7.5cm long, leathery, silvery beneath. Very small white flowers are borne in axillary racemes to 5cm long. Fruit rarely produced in Britain