The Eucalyptus, from the family Myrtaceae, is famous for being one of the tallest trees on the planet.
It grows up to 60 meters, or 200 feet tall and there are over 700 species of eucalyptus. Most come from Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. They are evergreen trees, which means they don’t shed their leaves, which contain a rich oil that can be used as an insecticide, for coughs, sore throats or blocked noses.
Chicken! tip: If you have a cold or blocked nose, add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to boiling water. Then cover your head with a towel and breath in the steam to make you feel less blocked. It really works!
Eucalyptus is also known as the “Gum Tree” because of a sticky substance in the bark. Its fruit is also called the ‘gum nut’. Koalas love eucalyptus leaves, even though they are very picky eaters.
Rainbow coloured bark
Eucalyptus bark is usually brown. There is one species, though, called the Rainbow eucalyptus, which likes dressing much more colourfully. It is the only species from the northern hemisphere and can grow very quickly! The craziest thing, though, is its coloured bark. Like a snake, its skin sheds throughout the year.
The truth is that this fantastic tree loses bits of its bark throughout the year, revealing a bright green colour at first, which eventually matures and changes into blues, reds, oranges, and purple-browns in the summer. This is no magic trick or a painter behind this, only Mother Nature being creative.
Read more about eucalyptus and other trees in the Friendship issue.
Giulia Guerrini graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology in Italy. She is a pharmacist. She loves her job because she loves helping people! Giulia also loves studying, exploring, travelling, and discovering everything about nature that can be used as a healthier source of food or a natural remedy.