The trees are small but frost hardy. The trees can be planted very densely, but are hard to harvest with mechanical means because the small olives cling tightly to the branches. They can pollinate themselves. The olives mature in mid-November.
The olives are used both for oil and as table olives. As table olives, they can be harvested green or black. They mature to a uniform black colour. The curing process gives them a mild, smoky flavour.
The olives have a relatively high oil yield of 20 to 25%. The oil is considered high quality, and is very fruity, but it has a short shelf-life span of only up to 1 year.
In Spain, Arbequina Olives are grown in Saragosse and Huesca, two of the provinces in Aragon, and in Catalonia, where it is the predominant olive. The olives are grown as well in Argentina and Chile.
The name comes from “Arbeca”, the town where it is thought to have originated in Spain.