Koalas view eucalyptus as a snack but even if you’re not a koala and aren’t peckish, it’s still a delightful plant. The refreshing foliage is good for the airways and nice in the sauna - and of course the eucalyptus is a beauty that enhances your home! This spectacular plant - which originates from Australia - has azure blue leaves that it retains in the winter. Fast-growing eucalyptus trees are planted for the wood industry in tropical and subtropical countries and are used to make paper and firewood.
Go for gold
Some eucalyptus trees contain gold – no, really! The roots extract the precious metal from the soil, but because it‘s toxic for the tree, it tries to get rid of it via the leaves. Scientists have found only minuscule quantities of gold on the leaves, so you won’t be making a necklace from it anytime soon but it is a clear indication that there’s gold in the ground where the tree is standing. Maybe you should take an extra close look at your own eucalyptus leaves?
Colours and shapes
There are some 700 varieties and almost all of them change their leaves over the course of their life. As a young plant they usually have round leaves, whilst the adults’ leaves are narrow, sickle-shaped and start to hang.
The eucalyptus tree can grow 2.5 metres a year. During this rapid growth the trees sheds its old bark, giving it a grey and brown mottled trunk. The bark of the eucalyptus tree is so soft that your thumbprint will remain embedded in it if you press on it. The tree’s fruit are about 3cm long.
The South Australian Eucalyptus mygdalina is the world’s tallest tree at an amazing 150 metres, but it won't reach heights like that in your home. Instead of growing incredibly fast, your plant works on being decorative and keeps flies and mosquitoes away.
The name of your azure blue friend comes from the Greek words ‘eu’ (beautiful) and ‘kalyptos’ (hat), because the stamens and pistils together resemble a hat.
The eucalyptus is a holy tree for the Aboriginals. For them it represents the division of underworld, Earth and heaven.
At a spiritual level the eucalyptus has a purifying effect. Negative energy disappears in the place where you burn a eucalyptus leaf.
There are many different species of the tree, which originates from Australia. The species which occur in the desert are very different from the species in the rainforest, for example.