Fruit and Vegetables

Bohemian olive tree

The characteristics of the Bohemian olive tree

This is one of the many names with which it is more commonly called the Elaeagnus angustifolia, a tree of the family of the Elaeagnaceae. Other denominations that are often attributed to him are those of silver tree, because of the color of the upper page of its leaves, or of olive, because the branches are very reminiscent of those of the olive tree. However, Elaeagnus produces neither olives nor oil: its Latin name comes from the union of the terms elaia, meaning olive, and agnos, which means pure. The epithet angustifolia refers instead to the leaves, which are narrow and elongated, similar to those of the willow, since they can reach 10 centimeters in length. The bark is compact, between green and gray. The branches are thorny and the crown usually has a round and very dense shape.

Other characteristics

The Bohemian olive tree, despite its name, is not a native of this region, but of the Asian continent, from which it was imported into Europe between 1600 and 1700. It exists in 45 different varieties, which as they said can be confused with those of olive trees. These last ones however belong to the Oleaceae family, and in fact the Elaeagnus does not produce olives, but of yellowish or orange-colored drupes that are however edible, but from which no oil is obtained. The flowers of this plant are very beautiful and fragrant, with a hint of vanilla, and can be white or yellow. The maximum height an olive tree can reach is 7 or 8 meters, but generally it remains very small, so much so that it is often cultivated according to the bonsai technique. In parks and gardens, therefore, we mostly plant for ornamental purposes.

How the Bohemian olive tree is grown

This is a very resistant tree with few requirements, so that planting one in the garden does not require too much care. As for the best location in which to place it, you should choose a very sunny or at least half-shadow angle, but never in full shade. In fact, Elaeagnus loves the light of the sun, but the fact remains that it is able to withstand even very low temperatures. The soil that it prefers must be very draining, therefore of sandy or clayey type. It is enough to keep in mind that in general it grows on the edge of the beaches and the sea, so it does not even fear the salinity of the water. Watering must be regular, but not too abundant; if there are periods of drought in the summer, care must be taken to ensure that the soil around the roots is always wet.

Bohemian olive tree: its virtues

The Bohemian olive produces its fruits in the period from April to June, and as they said these drupes, which have an elongated shape of an olive but a color that turns to reddish yellow, are good to be eaten raw. Their pulp is slightly mealy. These fruits can be used to make compotes and jams, but also soups and soups. For medical purposes, a syrup is extracted from them which is very effective in the treatment of bronchial affections, especially in the presence of phlegm. In Iran, instead, there is the use of reducing fruits in powder, and this powder is used to soothe joint pains and treat rheumatoid arthritis, and is consumed mixed with milk. The fruits of this plant are also greedy birds, which are therefore attracted to this plant.