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Eucalyptus globulus - Labill.                
Common Name Tasmanian Blue Gum, Eurabbie, Blue Gum, Blue Eucalyptus
Family Myrtaceae
Synonyms Eucalyptus maidenii subsp. globulus (Labill.) J.B.Kirkp
Known Hazards Citronellal, an essential oil found in most Eucalyptus species is reported to be mutagenic when used in isolation[269]. In large doses, oil of eucalyptus, like so many essential oils has caused fatalities from intestinal irritation[269]. Death is reported from ingestion of 4 - 24 ml of essential oils, but recoveries are also reported for the same amount[269]. Symptoms include gastroenteric burning and irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oxygen deficiency, ,weakness, dizziness, stupor, difficult respiration, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and death, usually due to respiratory failure[269]. The plant is reported to cause contact dermatitis. Sensitive persons may develop urticaria from handling the foliage and other parts of the plant[269]. Avoid if on treatment for diabetes mellitus. Infants and small children - avoid oil preparations on faces as possible life threatening spasms [301].
Habitats Damp marshy areas on moist loams and clays[77]. Found in hilly country or moist valleys in deep rich soils[167].
Range Australia - Tasmania, Victoria.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Wet Soil Full sun

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early spring, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of cone
Eucalyptus globulus is an evergreen Tree growing to 55 m (180ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

USDA hardiness zone : 9-11

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

Eucalyptus globulus Tasmanian Blue Gum, Eurabbie, Blue Gum, Blue Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus globulus Tasmanian Blue Gum, Eurabbie, Blue Gum, Blue Eucalyptus
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Bog Garden;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

An essential oil from the fresh or dried leaves is used as a flavouring in sweets, baked goods, ice cream etc[177, 183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antiperiodic;  Antirheumatic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Appetizer;  Aromatherapy;  Aromatic;  Deodorant;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  
Hypoglycaemic;  Stimulant.

Eucalyptus leaves are a traditional Aboriginal herbal remedy. The essential oil found in the leaves is a powerful antiseptic and is used all over the world for relieving coughs and colds, sore throats and other infections[254]. The essential oil is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter cold remedies[254]. The adult leaves, without their petioles, are antiperiodic, antiseptic, aromatic, deodorant, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic and stimulant[4, 7, 21, 46]. The leaves, and the essential oil they contain, are antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant, febrifuge and stimulant[218]. Extracts of the leaves have antibacterial activity[218]. The essential oil obtained from various species of eucalyptus is a very powerful antiseptic, especially when it is old, because ozone is formed in it on exposure to air. It has a decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life[4]. The oil can be used externally, applied to cuts, skin infections etc, it can also be inhaled for treating blocked nasal passages, it can be gargled for sore throat and can also be taken internally for a wide range of complaints[4]. Some caution is advised, however, because like all essential oils, it can have a deleterious effect on the body in larger doses[4]. The oil from this species has a somewhat disagreeable odour and so it is no longer used so frequently for medicinal purposes, other members of the genus being used instead[4]. An oleo- resin is exuded from the tree[238]. It can also be obtained from the tree by making incisions in the trunk[4, 152]. This resin contains tannin and is powerfully astringent, it is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea and bladder inflammation[4, 152, 238], externally it is applied to cuts etc[4, 152]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Respiratory system'[210].
Other Uses
Cleanser;  Deodorant;  Dye;  Essential;  Fuel;  Repellent;  Wood.

The leaves and the essential oil in them are used as an insect repellent[14, 152, 174, 240]. The trees can also be planted in wet areas where mosquitoes abound. The ground will be dried out by the trees, making it unsuitable for the mosquitoes to breed[238]. A decoction of the leaves is used for repelling insects and vermin[269]. Africans use finely powdered bark as an insect dust[269]. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves[46, 61, 156]. It is used in perfumery and in medicines[100]. The yield is about 0.9% by steam distillation[154]. The essential oil is also in spot removers for cleaning off oil and grease[238]. Yields of 40 to 45 kilos of oil per hectare have been reported[269]. A yellow/brown dye is obtained from the young leaves. It does not require a mordant[168]. Grey and green dyes are obtained from the young shoots[168]. A dark green dye is obtained from the young bark[168]. Wood - heavy[46, 61], (or light according to another report[167]), durable, fire resistant[155]. An important timber species, it is used for various purposes such as carpentry, construction, fences, piles, platforms, plywood, poles, sheds, tool handles and veneer[238, 269]. The oil-rich wood is resistant to termites[269]. This is one of the best eucalypts for pulp production for making paper[152, 269].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Prefers a sunny position in a moderately fertile well-drained moisture retentive circum-neutral soil[200]. Succeeds in most soils[167], tolerating poor and dry soils, especially those low in mineral elements[200]. Established plants are drought tolerant[200]. Plants should not be grown in frost pockets or windy sites[107]. Requires a sheltered position, disliking cold, dry or desiccating winds[154]. Plants are reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 80 to 160cm and an annual temperature range of ca 16 to 20°C[269]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c[200] and often succumbing to heavy frosts[11, 107, 155]. There is a tree 35 metres tall on the Isle of Man, there are several taller trees in S. Ireland and a tree on the Isle of Wight was 20 metres tall when it was 9 years old from seed[11]. 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[200]. The members of this genus are remarkably adaptable however, there can be a dramatic increase in the hardiness of subsequent generations from the seed of survivors growing in temperate zones[200]. The Tasmanian blue gum is the most extensively planted eucalypt species in the world with a total of 800,000 ha in dozens of countries[269]. This species is commonly planted in S. Europe, especially in Italy, Spain and Portugal, for timber, soil stabilization and the essential oil in its leaves[50, 61]. Trees have also been planted in marshy areas where they have the ability to reduce the wetness of the land (because they transpire so much water) thus getting rid of mosquitoes that were breeding there[4]. Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster, they are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation[200]. A very fast growing tree, new growth can be up to 2.5 metres per year[11, 49, 107]. Trees are gross feeders and can severely stunt the growth of nearby plants[14]. Trees are very amenable to coppicing[49]. Plants are shallow-rooting and, especially in windy areas, should be planted out into their permanent positions when small to ensure that they do not suffer from wind-rock[245]. They strongly resent root disturbance and should be container grown before planting out into their permanent position[11]. The flowers are rich in nectar and are a good bee crop[168, 200]. The bruised leaves emit a powerful balsamic smell[245]. This species is the national emblem of Tasmania[156, 167]. Special Features:Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Seed - surface sow February/March in a sunny position in a greenhouse[11, 78, 134]. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2°c[200]. 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 June, the young trees being planted in their final positions in late spring of the following year. The seed has a long viability[200].
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[49]Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties.
Trees and shrubs that grow well in Cornwall and other mild areas of Britain. Fairly good, a standard reference book.
[50]? Flora Europaea
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[77]Kelly. S. Eucalypts. (2 volumes.)
A very readable book (in two volumes) on the many species of Eucalyptus trees in Australia.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[100]Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
[107]Brooker. M. I. A Key to Eucalypts in Britain and Ireland.
A Forestry commission booklet giving details of the more common Eucalyptus species grown in Britain. Good identification guide.
[134]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
[152]Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T. Australian Medicinal Plants.
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
[154]Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria.
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
[155]Arnberger. L. P. Flowers of the Southwest Mountains.
A lovely little pocket guide to wild plants in the southern Rockies of America.
[156]Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Useful Wild Plants in Australia.
A very readable book.
[167]Holliday. I. and Hill. R. A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
[168]Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants.
A very good and readable book on dyeing.
[174]Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
A good Japanese herbal.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[210]Westwood. C. Aromatherapy - A guide for home use.
An excellent little pocket guide. Very concise.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[240]Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[269]Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops
Published only on the Internet, excellent information on a wide range of plants.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Helenka Havlat Thu Aug 3 2006

Wildseed Tasmania catalogue of native Tasmanian seeds including bush tucker species

Elizabeth H.
Pat Dale Wed Sep 2 2009
Please could you tell me when the Eucalyptus flowers.


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