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Cellina Barese is a variety with a dual purpose, for the production of oil and table olives, sporadically present in the province of Bari mainly in the pre-Murge area and in the Murge on the border with Basilicata where it is also present and known as Augelina.

Cellina Barese

Cellina Barese, the typical olive cultivar with double purpose of Apulia region

Origin and Historical Outline

The origins of the Cellina Barese cultivar are not certain. A reference to a variety of olive tree, hocellina is reported in the Apulian diplomatic code of the year. 1095. A summary description made in Apulia, of which there is documentation, is that of Pantanelli-Brandonisio from the 1930s.


Augellina, Cellina delle Murge, Cellina di Cassano.

The tree: it has a high vigour, an expansive habit and a dense crown.

The inflorescence: it has a high length, a high number of flowers and a compact structure.

The leaf: it has an elliptical-lanceolate shape with an average length and an average width; the longitudinal curvature of the flat plate and the color of the upper surface intense green.

The fruit: it has a very medium weight characterized by an average pulp/stone ratio; it has a slightly asymmetrical ellipsoidal shape, with a central position of the maximum mean transverse diameter. The apex is pointed and the base truncated. The mucron is absent. There are abundant large lenticels. The veraison starts from the apex and the color when fully ripe is black-purplish.

The flowering time of the Cellina barese cultivar is early-intermediate; while the veraison period is medium and scalar.

The Cellina barese cultivar is self-sterile and is cultivated in olive groves in which there are trees of the Coratina, Ogliarola barese, Mele cultivars, whose flowering is practically contemporary.

The oil content of the Cellina barese cultivar is medium. The cultivar has a phenol content that on average exceeds 200 mg/kg.

The oleic acid content is above 70% (the minimum concentration of oleic acid for the EFSA approved health claim is 70%)

The Cellina Barese, both in the form of table olives and transformed into oil, is particularly suitable for use in the kitchen as it is ideal for flavoring meat, fish and vegetables. Also excellent in salads and sauces. Due to the good product characteristics, part of the product (the one with the highest size) can be used as green table olives. If used for the production of oil, the product is characterized by a medium green olive fruitiness with pleasant notes of fresh grass and olive leaf. The taste reveals the olive leaf, the artichoke, the grass and the almond, the apple, the tomato and the grass. Bitterness and pungency on average present and perceived and persistent.

Up-to-date and precise data on the size of the production of olives of the Cellina Barese cultivar in Apulia region is not available.

Iconographic source: LOMBARDO N. et A.A. (a cura di), 2004, Contributo alla caratterizzazione del germoplasma olivicolo pugliese. Istituto Sperimentale per l’Olivicoltura. Rende (CS).


Professor Maria Lisa Clodoveo
Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine
University of Bari

Dr. Enzo Perri
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)
Research Manager
Director of the CREA Olive, Fruit, and Citrus Research Center