Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Flowers & fruit - 3 January 2012

Although the flowering phase has almost passed, there are still a couple of late bloomers, as can be seen in the images below. Factors like "on" years and "off" years, and the fact that the trees are really way too young to make any meaningful observations yet, etc. aside, I thought it would still be interesting to document their progress. 

In essence, the Barnea were the first to bloom. Very eager trees it seems. However, it doesn't seem to bear lots of fruit. The Frantoio had the most flowers and the SA Verdale seems to be very prolific bearers. The tiny wee bit of a little tree of no more that 30cm high, already has fruit almost the size of peas. For most of the other trees you still almost need a magnifying glass to spot the baby olives! The Manzanilla probably had an "off" year this season, since they had quite a lot of flowers last year (with no fruit), and only a very small number had flowers this year. Given, they were only about a year old at the time. :) The Ascolano and J5 currently appear to be performing quite similar, bearing comparable volumes of flowers and fruit. 

Ascolano - they are all full of blooms and tiny fruit are developing.

Ascolano - tiny little olives.

El Greco - one of the 'one of each' lot, was full of flowers.
This tree had even more flowers than the Frantoio.

Frantoio - most of the flowers are gone by now.

Frantoio - close-up. Tiny fruit visible.

J5 - a lot of flowers still on the trees.

Koroneiki - the last blooms only opening now. The first ones started opening some time ago already.
These trees seem to have a long blooming period?

Manzanilla - no flowers for most of the trees.

There are a few Manzanillas with flowers and they are also slower to develop than the other trees.

SA Verdale - little over eager prolific producers :). The "trees" are about 30cm tall and they
already have the largest fruit of all the trees. Almost pea size.

SA Verdale. They seem to be fairly happy? Or is it just the opposite?
A case of "make fruit while you can for survival?" ... I hope not.


  1. Dis lekker om te sien hoe dit groei en vruggies maak. Hoekom is die vorm/fatsoen van die SA Verdale se vruggies so anders as my mission s'n? Bly dit altyd so of dink jy hulle verander soos dit groter word na die normale olyf 'shape'? Is hierdie 'n eet- of olie-olyf? Groen of swart? of soos die calamata se kleur?

  2. Goeie vraag - hulle lyk vir my ook baie rond en "wavy" :) - hulle moet eintlik meer ovaal wees. Ons het hoofsaaklik net eet/tafel olywe geplant. 'n Groen olyf is presies dit - 'n olyf wat groen gepluk word. Alle olywe word uiteindelik swart/pers soos Kalamata as dit lank genoeg op die boom bly (en die voels nie eerste daarby uitkom nie!). :) Bietjie meer inligting oor South Australian Verdale hieronder:


    General - Known in the Mediterranean as 'Verdial'. This cultivar originated in the southern olive regions of France, however there are now many different 'Verdales' around the world. They vary significantly in size of fruit, oil content, flesh-to-pit ratio, harvesting times , hardiness etc.

    The South Australian Verdale, a larger, oval fruited selection of the normal Verdale weighs approximately 7-10 grams, yielding 100-140 olives/kg. The Wagga Verdale reportedly has smaller fruit, similar to the plain Verdale, but a heavier crop than the South Australian Verdale. No accurate data is available on the flesh-to-pit ratio of either however, it is generally accepted that the seed is too large to make the olives commercially viable for table use when compared to the other table cultivars now available. The trees of all three cultivars are of medium size with drooping branches.

    Climatic Considerations - All three Verdales have been grown successfully through much of southern Australia. Current plantings through a number of other states will give more accurate climatic data in the future.

    Commercial Viability - At the time of writing, South Australian Verdale and plain Verdale are the most widely planted cultivars in the southern states of Australia. Their fruit, although large pitted, are used for table olive processing which results in a pleasant tasting, good textured olive. The oil content is generally reported as low, with collected data ranging from 7-23% (most sources are towards the lower end of this). A few growers say that the Wagga Verdale gives a 20% heavier crop than the plain Verdale.