Olea (/ˈliə/ OH-lee-ə[3]) is a genus of about 40 species in the family Oleaceae, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Middle East, southern EuropeAfrica, southern Asia, and Australasia.[2] They are evergreen trees and shrubs, with small, opposite, entire leaves. The fruit is a drupe. Leaves of Olea contain trichosclereids.[4]

For humans, the most important species is by far the olive (Olea europaea), native to the Mediterranean region, Africa, southwest Asia, and the Himalayas,[5][6] which is the type species of the genus. O. paniculata is a larger tree, attaining a height of 15–18 m in the forests of Queensland, and yielding a hard and tough timber. The yet harder wood of the black ironwood O. laurifolia, an inhabitant of Natal, is important in South Africa.

Olea species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including double-striped pug.

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