Olive ‘Picual’ – Olea europaea
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From Spain Picual is a medium vigour tree with a spreading and dense canopy. It comes into production early. In Australia it has started to bear heavy commercial crops before most other varieties. It shows constant and high productivity and is very hardy. The Picual variety represents about 90% of the olive trees planted in the Jaen region of Andalucia , Spain , the largest olive growing area in the world.
Fruit shape is oval and curved with a nipple on the end. Both oil content and yield are high. The fruit ripens mid to late season. During the first years, fruits tend to be larger than normal and they are highly rated for pickling as black olives for the firmness of their flesh.
The oil yield of Picual is high, although it is known to be variable in the first years. The oil is of good quality with a very particular character and extraordinarily high stability. Picual oil is often blended with other oils that have low stability.
Picual is highly rated for its early start to bearing and its high productivity. The fruit has low attachment making it suitable for mechanical harvesting. It is tolerant of cold, salinity and excess soil moisture. Picual is self-compatible, and in Australia is proving to be a good pollinator for a number of other varieties. Picual is a hardy variety and adapts well to different climates and soil conditions. It is sensitive to verticillium wilt and peacock spot.