Broad-Leaved Phillyrea

Broad-Leaved Phillyrea / Phillyrea latifolia / زرود عريض الأوراق

Picture Resource: By Giancarlo Dessì - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0Link

Status: Common

It is small evergreen tree growing to 8 m belongs to the Oleaceae family. Leaves are opposite each other. The flowers are tiny, pink with 4 sepals and 4 petals. The flowers are numerous and grow together in clusters and show in March-May. The fruit resembles little olives but less elongated and has spherical shape and ripens in October. It is green at first, then red, and when it ripens it is blue-black.

Ecology: Mediterranean maquis and forest, grows in rocky slopes mainly limestone. The plant is glycophyte in terms of salt resistance, it belongs to the Mediterranean area.

Medical uses: It is possibly edible. The fruit is an ovoid drupe about 6mm in diameter with a single seed. It is diuretic (increases the amount of water that you pass out from your kidneys), stimulates menstruation and used as mouthwash. Also used as hedge and the wood is excellent charcoal which is obtained from the stems.

Distributions: Its global distribution spreads over the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

In Palestine it is the only one of its genus, it grows in the West bank mountains.

Other names: Lance-Leaved Phillyrea, Green Olive Tree.

 IUCN red list status: least concern 
Local status: least concern