Today we are going to talk about the olive flower and his father the olive tree, so ancient and symbolic that it could be said that, next to the vine, it ranks first in longevity, usefulness, veneration and importance for humanity.
It is little known that there are more than 200 varieties of the olive tree, an incredible number of typologies thanks to its extraordinary pollination process, we highlight this because it is commonly believed that the olive tree is a single tree in all regions.
The flower of the olive tree
The protagonist of this article is the flower of the olive tree, and that is why we are going to discover in the next few lines what this ancient, simple and discreet flower has to tell us, but it carries the seed of an exquisite, millenary and highly demanded fruit.
What is the name of the olive tree flower
The olive tree flowers announce the beginning of the process that the olive tree will go through to finally offer its olives.
The flower of the olive tree is called “rapa”, and the term etymologically comes from the Catalan «rapa» with the same meaning; it is also often called “plot” or “eskimo ” depending on the place.
Olive flower characteristics
Even though there are more than 200 varieties of olive trees as we pointed out before, it is curious that their flower is the same in all of them, the olive flower is characterized by having four petals targets facing in the shape of a cross with delicate yellow and orange flashes in its center.
Other characteristic of olive flowers is that they are grouped in clusters, and these twigs can have between 10 and 40 flowers each. The amount of flowers or rapa can be so much that they can hide the leaves of the tree.
The flowering of the olive tree it’s very briefWe have it between May and June, and each flower does not last more than a week. It has been calculated that only three weeks pass from the first flower to the last.
Pollen from the male flower of the olive tree is really extraordinary, it can travel through the air for many days without losing its power to fertilize the female olive flower hundreds of miles away.
The flower of the olive tree has a natural programming so as not to pollinate nearby trees, as if they were brothers, that is why it is designed to travel long distances in search of new families of olive trees and thus improve the species.
As you may have noticed, on our website we are passionate about flowers, but we are also interested in everything that is born from mother earth and can be harvested, if you want to delve into these topics we recommend you visit this blog on agriculture in Spain where you will find information on quality about the sector.
We are going to specify everything that has been said so far to summarize that the main characteristics of the olive flower are:
- Whitish color
- Four petals in the shape of a cross
- Small calyx, uniform corolla and two stamens
- Slight, slightly intense odor
- The flowers are grouped in clusters and their duration is short
- Flower pollination does not occur between nearby trees
We are now going to enter the less scientific but equally important and interesting part, we are going to talk about meaning that humanity has given to the flower of the olive tree through history.
Olive flower meaning
There is a whole symbology on the olive tree, and that includes its twisted trunk, its fine leaves, its discreet flowers and its prized fruits.
The Greeks crowned their Olympic champions with a olive crown symbolizing power and victory. Since before Christ a dove with an olive branch in its beak that signified peace between the parties in conflict. Kings were anointed with olive oil considered the source of longevity.
For the ancient Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, Christians and Muslims, the olive tree was a tree of divine origin, in this sense and since there are records, the olive tree is loaded with a sacred meaning.
An olive branch on the doors of the houses kept the bad spirits because it symbolized divine strength as protection. And now you may be wondering, And the meaning of the olive flower?
Well it is a flower with a great meaning, the flower of the olive tree is considered “the flower of liquid gold”, is a flower that symbolizes the valuable; for its short life and for its prowess for pollination the olive flower It is related to the concepts of wisdom, courage, worth, spirituality and hope.
The meaning of the olive flower It would not be complete if we overlooked that these transcendental concepts are contained in a simple and unpretentious flower.
Curiosities of the olive flower
Now we share with you some very interesting and surprising data that we have found about today’s protagonist, let’s see then some curiosities of the olive flower:
- The flower of the olive tree can be female, male (produces pollen) or hermaphrodite (they have stamen and pistil) that allows to give rise to a new fruit.
- Only 2% of all the flowers of the olive tree complete the cycle from germination to becoming olives.
- The amount of flowers on the olive tree is a clear sign of the amount of olives that can be expected at harvest.
- It is called “curdled” when the flower is fertilized, its petals come off and a new embryo begins to form that will result in the olive.
- At the peak of flowering the olive tree seems to be covered by a delicate snow, and this image is reinforced when the olive tree’s feet are covered with a white blanket of flowers.
- The oldest olive tree in our peninsula is located in the Tarragona town of Ulldecona. It is estimated to have 1,702 years of longevity.
The next time you go through an olive grove, take a minute to contemplate it, hopefully you can schedule a walk in the flowering season; remember that you already know its secrets well and it would be fair that the olive tree also knew yours.
Do you want more? Don’t miss our websites of meanings!