Cultivar Descriptions

Amphissa (aka Amfissa, Konservolea)

Origin: Greece

Growth Habit: Fast growing with spreading habit and medium density canopy

Cold hardiness: this rustic variety has a reputation for being very cold hardy and is often grown in higher elevations in Greece (600m/2000ft)

Fruit: dual purpose, the most common Greek table olive (in Greece at least), large, can be used green or black, early green picking, full ripening mid-season (after Leccino)

Pollinator: Possibly self-pollinating (literature is unclear on this), but as with all cultivars a pollinator will ensure better fruit set. Most cultivars on offer should work.

Cailletier/Taggiasca (SP*)

Origin: Alpes-Maritimes area near Nice, France and Liguria, Italy

Growth habit: vigorous grower maturing to a statuesque tree with  a downward drooping branches

Cold hardiness: good cold resistance

Fruit: dual purpose olive that makes an excellent delicate oil. In France where it is called Cailletier it is mainly renowned for its delicious small black Nicoise table olives. Later ripening for black olives. In Liguria, it is highly prized for its delicately flavoured oil.

Pollinator: self-fertile but better fruit set with pollinator such as Pendolino, Maurino, Leccino, Bouteillan, Cipressino. It is closely related to Frantoio so the two cultivars may not be compatible for pollination.


OriginCalabria, Italy

Growth habit: medium vigor; erect growth habit with medium density canopy

Cold hardinesshigh cold tolerance (but possibly susceptible to wind damage).

Characteristicsearly to mid-season ripening, vigorous grower

Fruitmedium to large olives suitable for table use or olive oil, yields a high quality fruity olive oil

Pollinator(s): Itrana, Frantoio, Leccino

Cipressino (aka Frangivento)

Origin: Puglia
Growth habit: very vigorous, grows upright in a columnar shape (columnar cypress-like, its other name, Frangivento, means windbreak) with a dense canopy. Often used as a landscape tree along roads and walkways.
Hardiness: Good cold hardiness and resistance to wind and ocean spray.
Fruit: medium-sized fruit ripens mid-season (after Leccino, before Frantoio).
Pollinators: Carolea, Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino. Pendolino, etc.


Origin: Tuscany, Italy

Growth habit: Medium-vigour; grows upright, with open structure and eventually, a wide spreading canopy.

Cold hardiness: Often cited as medium hardy but here in British Columbia’s Gulf islands we have found it to be very hardy. It is at least as hardy as Leccino (and more hardy in some cases). 

Characteristics: Fruit matures late and unevenly relative to the Leccino, yet it reaches its maximum oil yield early in the season (this is one reason why it can be picked at the same time as Leccino in areas such as Umbria and Tuscany). In British Columbia, picking Frantoio green may be the best strategy for a dependable harvest.

Fruit: Frantoio oil is fruity with a pungent finish. Its medium-sized clingstone fruit can be picked green or ripe for table use. Brined Frantoio olives have a nutty flavour.

Pollination compatibility: Self-fertile, but another variety as a pollinator will enhance fruit-set and maximize yield. It will act as a pollinator for Leccino making it the perfect companion to Leccino if you only want two trees.

Harvest Joy

Origin: Nikita Botanical Garden, Yalta Ukraine

Cold hardiness: Good winter cold hardiness for our zone 8 coastal winters.

Characteristics:  mid-fall ripening

Fruit: when mature known for abundant harvest of mid-size to large olives 

Pollinator(s): most varieties


Origin: Lazio, Italy

Growth habit: vigorous growth habit and upright structure 

Cold hardiness:  has excellent winter cold hardiness when planted in the ground (potted trees seem slightly more sensitive to cold) for our zone 8 coastal winters.

Characteristics: very productive dual-purpose late ripening cultivar prized for both its oil and table olives (green or black). Nice upright structure and abundant, orderly branching. 

Fruit: medium-sized round, as a table olive Itrana is known as Gaeta. Ripens late season (late November to December).

Pollinators: Leccino, Maurino, Pendolino, Frantoio


Origin: Tuscany, Italy

Growth habit: Erect  in stature, cold resistant and more vigorous than either Frantoio or Maurino—meaning it grows slightly more quickly (and seems to be the last to go dormant in winter).

Cold hardiness: Considered to be one of the most cold-hardy cultivars although when young (1-3 years) it may be a little more sensitive to cold than Frantoio (possibly due to its tendency to keep growing into the winter).

Characteristics: Leccino olives ripen evenly and early in November. Like our other varietal offerings, the Leccino is suitable either for pressing for oil or for brining for (medium-sized) table olives—makes a wonderful eating olive: see Zingerman’s online deli for a rave review.

Fruit: medium freestone fruit (2-2.5g) with medium-to-high oil content. The mildly fruity and delicate oil of the Leccino olive forms the basis for many Tuscan and Umbrian olive oil blends, at times accounting for over 50% of the blend. Its rich yet mild flavour softens the pungency of the Frantoio’s oil.

Pollination compatibility: Self-sterile, so it needs a pollinator such as Frantoio, Maurino or Pendolino. In turn it is compatible with many other cultivars.


Origin: Tuscany, Italy

Growth habit: Compact, slightly bushy growth habit. Medium vigour in growth (slow growing in our climate). 

Cold hardiness: Well-suited for cool coastal summers, good winter cold-hardiness in our zone 8 coastal winters.

Characteristics: A reliable pollinator because of its profuse flowering and long bloom time even in cool conditions. Fruit maturation is usually before Frantoio but after Leccino. Our experience with Maurino in BC is that it grows well and seems to have no problem setting fruit that ripens to a size slightly smaller than Leccino and Frantoio but with a nice flesh to pit ratio (suitable for table olives).

Fruit: Medium oil yield; produces a highly regarded, delicate, not overly fruity oil.

Pollination compatibility: Self-sterile, highly compatible as a pollinator to a wide range of olive varieties including Leccino, Frantoio and Pendolino.


Origin: Nikita Botanical Garden, Yalta Ukraine

Cold hardiness: Purportedly very high winter cold hardiness for our zone 7 or 8 coastal winters.

Characteristics:  early to mid-fall ripening

Fruit: large tasty olives suitable for table use 

Pollinator(s): most varieties


Origin: Nikita Botanical Research Station, Yalta, Ukraine

Growth habit: good vigour, slightly pendulous branching when mature

Cold hardiness:  good cold hardiness for our zone 8 coastal winters.

Characteristics: As one of many “new” cultivars developed in Yalta, there is not much research literature available but from four years observing this variety here on Saturna it seems to do well either in pots or in the ground. The olives are good sized for young trees.

Fruit: produces medium to large table olives with good flesh to pit ratio when mature

Pollinators: Apparently self-pollinating but will benefit from another pollinator such as Universal, Bountiful, Perpetua, Harvest Joy (and most others).


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