Spanish Black Olives

nearly ripe olives

Arbequina Olive:
an easy to grow, yummy
Spanish Black Olive

The Arbequina Olive is a small, dark brown, almost black olive that originates from Catalonia, Spain. It is cultivated widely in Argentina, Chile, Australia and more recently, California.

It loves long, hot, dry summers and thrives best in alkaline soils, though it is highly adaptable to many soil conditions. For best results, don't plant under an oak or pine tree -- that would be too acidic.

olives on a plate


The Arbequina olive tree is somewhat self-fertile and begins fruiting at an early age.  Use the Arbosano for a pollinator to get a more prolific harvest.

They resist frost well, being hardy to at least 22°, and adapt easily to climate changes. They are the most cold tolerant of all the olive varieties. Although they can be grown in zones 7-10 (with some protection in zone 7), it is safer to say zones 8-9 are more ideal.

Plant closer together to protect from heavy freezes, or simply cover a young tree with a blanket. This cultivar should reach about 12' to 15' at maturity here in Florida, and has a weeping form to its branches. Evergreen.

Arbequina is good both as a table olive and for its oil. At 20-22%, it has one of the highest concentrations of olive oil. It is a very flavorful olive. Fragrant spring blossoms are followed by masses of green fruit in the heat of summer. Olives are picked in the winter, as they ripen, from November to March.

Get your olive tree here:


Most growers will tell you the Arbequina olive is self fertile -- and it is. 

But it is also true that you get an increase in fruit set when you pair the Arbequina with either an Arbesano or a Koronieki. 

fruits set on an olive tree in our nursery

Arbequina is the hardiest of the 3 varieties, and the most cold tolerant.

Spanish Black Olives:
Olea europaea "Arbequina"

  • grows 12' to 15' high in Florida
  • evergreen tree or shrub
  • self fertile: you only need one for pollination
  • zones 8 - 9 ideal
  • 3 gal pot / 3'-4' hgt / $39

3'-4' hgt $39.00


want a taller tree?

7 gal: 5.5′- 6′ hgt $85.00

fruiting size

5.5'- 6' hgt $85.00


A Bit of Trivia:

Nothing says “Mediterranean” faster than the ancient olive tree. The olive tree has long been the symbol of wisdom, abundance and peace.

The olive tree and its olive oil have become one of the basic necessities of life in Greece. It was so precious to the ancients, the Greek poet, Homer, even described Greece’s olive oil as “liquid gold”. Present day Greece is said to have something like 143 million olive trees.

It takes about 6 kilos of olives to yield 1 kilo of olive oil.

ancient olive tree

Olive tree on Ithaca, Greece, that is claimed to be at least 1500 years old.

The Spanish explorers were the first to bring the olive to the New World in the 1500’s. It thrived in what is now Peru and Chile. By the 1700’s it reached California. The Arbequina Olive is the Spanish variety and is the primary olive oil tree grown in both California  and Florida today.

Photo credits: ancient olive tree photographed by Rein Post, courtesy of Channel R: