The amount of yield and adaptation of a cultivar to a new environment is strongly related to nutrient uptake ability. The aim of this study was to compare nutrient uptake ability of 21 local and/or standard olive varieties grown under Mediterranean climatic conditions. Elemental compositions of olive leaves were determined for two consecutive years. The highest yields were obtained from 'Gemlik', 'Manzanilla', 'Memecik', and 'Hojiblanca' varieties. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and manganese (Mn) content of leaves were comparatively higher in the high-yielding year (2004) whereas iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) contents were lower. Nutrient uptake ability and usage efficiency of olive varieties were different. Mineral composition of leaves was variety dependent and different groups of varieties showed higher leaf concentration for each element. Therefore, it can be concluded that the variation in the nutrient uptake ability may be used as a criterion for adaptation of a variety to a new ecological environment.