The Leccino olive tree is one of the primary cultivars used in Italian olive oil production. It is best known for its Tuscan origins and delicate flavor profile.
All across Italy, it is considered one of the primary cultivars found in olive groves. While it originated in Tuscany, it is now grown all over the world and does well in California and the northwest. Its olive oil flavor is delicate so it’s most commonly blended with Pendolino. But it’s also interplanted and blended with Frantoio, Coratina and Moraiolo to produce more flavor.
Beautiful Fruiting Specimen
Leccino fruit is purple-black, although it is advised to pick it when purple green at its optimal time. Oil volume is lower than other cultivars and delicate in flavor. The oil is mildly fruity and frequently blended with other cultivars’ oil.
Inconspicuous, white flowers; prized for evergreen foliage and its fall fruit.
Single- and Multi-Trunked Tree
Leathery Gray-Green Color
Can reach 25 to 30 ft. tall if given opportunity, 25 ft. wide dense canopy
Coastal Exposure, Container, Mass Planting (high density), Specimen – Leccino is not self-pollinating and requires a pollinator, such as Pendolino.
USDA 8 – 11, Sunset 24
Hardy down 20 to 30 °F
Once established, water occasionally.
Water more frequently in extreme heat or containers. Newly planted olive trees will require more water to establish.
Well-drained, nutrient poor soil
Light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils all acceptable. Olive trees prefer well-drained soil and even grow well in nutritionally poor soil. Hot, rocky locations. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
Thrives in most average, slightly alkaline, well-drained soils, but it is highly adaptable. Must be planted near another olive variety for pollination. Water deeply, regularly during first few growing seasons to establish an extensive root system. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates drought. Shelter young plants from winter extremes.
Written references can be found near the end of the Middle Ages to Leccino, and it is considered generally one of the oldest cultivars from Italy. Leccino has become more popular over the past 50 years and is now commonly grown in California, Chile and Australia, among other olive oil growing regions.
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