Eucalyptus: The Mythical Plant
Well known for its leathery-green leaves, the eucalyptus provides a remarkable visual appeal in any kind of arrangement. Each leaf is intricately lined with glands containing a fragrant oil; some eucalyptus species provide a more pleasant aroma than others. What I find most compelling, though, is that the leaves grow in pairs on opposite sides of the stem, in four directions – like a square!
I must admit that I went to a whole new ‘nerd’ level when researching the eucalyptus this week. I found so many fascinating facts – like hundreds! I felt like I was learning about a mythical creature with a cache of powers that we have only just begun to tap into. Ok, that’s maybe a tad extreme, BUT the reality is that the eucalyptus is a total boss and I am no longer surprised by its longstanding popularity. Here are some of my favorite facts;
There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus Trees Can Prevent Malaria
It’s no secret that eucalyptus trees are lovers of water, thriving in marshy areas. You know what else isn’t a secret? Pesky little mosquitos love water – they freaking love it. So, since Malaria relies on a specific kind of mosquito for survival, in some areas eucalyptus trees are planted as a double weapon of defense. They reduce the amount of stagnant water, while also producing cineole, which helps reduce the mosquitos.
- Cineole: Secret Weapon
Eucalyptus essential oil has been around forever. Long before we had our plug-in diffusers or easy application “roll-on” oils. The ingredient, cineole, has been used in Indigenous Australian medicine as an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent for centuries, primarily as a treatment of respiratory issues.
- Koala Bear
You know the eucalyptus is important when koala bears practically live on eucalyptus leaves and bark. Definitely why they are so cute.
- Rainbow Eucalyptus
Lastly, since I recently added this to my bucket-list of things I need to see, I wanted to share it with you. The Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus, is both tall and stunning. The unique, multi-hued bark is distinctive and breathtaking. Since patches of the bark shed at different times, the inner bark displays different colors depending on what stage of maturity it’s in. Please look this tree up! You will see lively blues and purples, coupled with hues or orange and maroon – it’s the most tangible rainbow ever.
BAM - thank me later when you impress your friends with all these new facts! If you’re in the area, come by the truck and pick up some magical eucalyptus.