Olive, a family of trees and shrubs. The common olive tree, the subject of this article, is the plant of most economic value in this family. Its fruit, a source of vitamins and of protein, is eaten as a snack or appetizer and in salads, sandwich fillings, sauces, and casseroles. It is also a source of oil. The fruit's pits and pulp are used as fuel, livestock feed, and fertilizer. The tree's yellow-brown wood, hard and beautifully grained, is used for furniture.Olives have been cultivated since ancient times.
Long important to Mediterranean peoples, the olive is widely mentioned in classical and Biblical literature. The olive branch has come to symbolize peace and good will.