The Olive (Olea europaea) is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean region, from Lebanon, Syria and the maritime parts of Turkey and northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea. Its fruit, the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The fruit is a small drupe 1–2.5 cm long, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars. Olives are harvested at the green stage or left to ripen to a rich purple colour (black olive). Canned black olives may contain chemicals that turn them black artificially.