Oleo Elvira: Inflorescence, Fertilization and Pollination



Olive tree inflorescence has a core from which branches sprout. Those branches, in turn, shoot out branches of their own. This is called paniculate formation. On these newly formed branches, the flowers are either isolated or grouped into three to five units.

The number of flowers per inflorescence can vary from ten to forty, depending on the physiological state of the tree, the environmental conditions and the variety. The flowers can be perfect or staminate.

The perfect flowers are hermaphrodites.

The staminates are masculine, possessing a rudimentary ovule - which at times does not appear. The latter, obviously, cannot form fruit given the lack of a functional ovule.


In order for the olive fruit to structure itself and set, if first needs to be pollinated and fertilized.

The pollination stage begins when the pollen reaches the stigma. A single pollen tube is introduced into the upper part of the ovule. This phenomenon is called "Gametic Selection", in which certain gametes are chosen for later fertilization of the union of the masculine gamete and the ovule cell. The zygote, which later becomes the embryo, emerges from this union. The growth of the embryo begins after approximately three or four weeks of flowering and fertilization, while the functional ovule begins to develop as a seed.