Synonyms for Eucalyptus: Blue Gum Tree, Stringy Bark Tree
Scientific Name: Eucalyptus globulus Labill.
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)
The eucalyptus is a majestic tree, with a greyish-white, peeling bark, which can grow to a height of 70 metres. Its characteristic feature are the elegant, sickle-shaped leaves which can be up to 30 cm long and which release the typical intensive aroma when rubbed. The narrow leaves hang down vertically to protect them from the strong heat of the sun. Eucalyptus forests are therefore sometimes called "shadeless forests". If you hold a leaf up to the light you will see that it is studded with numerous tiny dots, the glands containing the essential oil. The young leaves at the tips of the branches are oval to heart-shaped, their upper surfaces bluish-green, the lower surfaces bearing a whitish coating. The flower buds are contained in capsules covered with a lid which springs open at the beginning of the flowering season revealing a corona of whitish-yellow stamens which has the appearance of a round brush. The fertilised flowers develop into stone-hard seed capsules. The Australian Blue Mountains in the hinterland of Sydney owe their name to the extensive, blue-shimmering eucalyptus forests.