Botanical Name: Eucalyptus olida
Common Name: Strawberry Gum
Habitat: Eucalyptus olida is native to Australia.It is is endemic to a restricted area of New South Wales.
Eucalyptus olida is an evergreen tree that typically grows to a height of 20–30 m (66–98 ft) and forms a lignotuber. It has thick, rough, fibrous and flaky bark on the trunk and larger branches, smooth white or grey bark that is shed in long ribbons from branches less than 50–80 mm (2.0–3.1 in) in diameter. Young plants and coppice regrowth have dull bluish green, egg-shaped leaves that are 45–100 mm (1.8–3.9 in) long and 25–55 mm (0.98–2.17 in) wide. Adult leaves are the same shade of dull to slightly glossy green on both sides, lance-shaped to curved, 70–185 mm (2.8–7.3 in) long and 9–26 mm (0.35–1.02 in) wide tapering to a petiole 10–20 mm (0.39–0.79 in) long. The flower buds are arranged in leaf axils in groups of between seven and fifteen or more on an unbranched peduncle 4–18 mm (0.16–0.71 in) long, the individual buds on pedicels 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) long. Mature buds are oval, about 4 mm (0.16 in) long and 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) wide with a rounded or conical operculum. Flowering has been recorded in February and the flowers are white. The fruit is a woody, barrel-shaped or bell-shaped capsule with the valves near rim level.
Eucalyptus species generally require a sunny position, succeeding in a wide range of well-drained, circumneutral soils of low to moderate fertility.
The plant develops a lignotuber – this is a woody tuber that starts to develop near the base of seedlings and can become massive in the mature plants of some species. It possesses embedded vegetative buds, allowing the plant to regenerate following crown destruction, for example by fire.
The glossy green leaves are intensely aromatic.
The most recent example of a new eucalyptus oil product is that of E-methyl cinnamate, obtained from Eucalyptus olida. This natural flavouring ingredient was discovered in near pure form in high yield for the first time in 1985 and its production has subsequently been commercialised in Australia, from where it is exported.
Eucalyptus species have not adopted a deciduous habit and continue to grow until it is too cold for them to do so. This makes them more susceptible to damage from sudden cold snaps. If temperature fluctuations are more gradual, as in a woodland for example, the plants have the opportunity to stop growing and become dormant, thus making them more cold resistant. A deep mulch around the roots to prevent the soil from freezing also helps the trees to survive cold conditions. Many members of this genus are remarkably adaptable however, and there can be a dramatic increase in the hardiness of subsequent generations from the seed of survivors growing in temperate zones.
Seed – surface sow late winter/early spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 – 8 weeks cold stratification at 2°c. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. Plant out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from the cold in their first winter. The seed can also be sown in early summer, the young trees being planted in their final positions in late spring of the following year. The seed has a long viability.
The dried leaf is used as a spice product in bushfood cooking in Australia, especially with fruit.
Both the dried leaves and the essential oil are used to enhance the flavour of cooked fruit dishes, desserts or spiced jams, bringing out the classic ‘berry’ flavour.
The essential oil is used as a flavouring in commercial food products.
An infusion of the leaves is used as a high antioxidant herbal tea.
The leaf of E. olida leaf is also used as a dried spice product in bushfood cooking, especially with fruit and in herbal teas. It has high anti-oxidant activity.The leaves of E. olida are distilled for its crystal-like essential oils used in flavouring and perfumery.The oil has some herbal medicinal value..
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.