LEMON IRONBARK - EUCALYPTUS STAIGERIANA
Natural occurrence: Dry woodlands in North Queensland.
Description: Small tree up to 7 meters. Sparse canopy of grey-coloured
leaves contrasting with fissured dark-colored bark. The leaves have a
pleasant lemony aroma. The cream coloured flowers are small and are
followed by seed capsules.
Cultivation: Lemon ironbark is well suited to gardens due to its small
tree size. It’s also drought and low soil fertility tolerant. Prefers
well-drained soil. Provide full-sun conditions. Tropical in origin, but
adaptable to light frosts down to - 2 C degrees once established. Could
be grown in warmer sites as far south as the South Coast of NSW. Leaves
used for flavouring can be harvested individually or by light pruning.
Light branch pruning also maintains a shorter tree and denser canopy. In
commercial production it is also coppice harvested, re-shooting after
heavy pruning back to the trunk.
Use: The lemon ironbark can be used in cooking as a flavouring
ingredient, aromatherapy, perfumery and antibacterial agent due to the
presence of high quality essential oils. It has been commercially used
as a bushfood spice since the 1990’s. The leaves are used in cooking,
especially in savoury dishes and confectionary, and as a native herbal
tea ingredient. The aromatic essential oil can also be distilled from
The lemon ironbark contains a mixture of essential oil isolates: citral
(27%), phellandrene (16%), limonene (14%), methyl geranate (14%),
geranyl acetate (14%), terpinolene (5%), geraniol (3%). The oil yield is
high, varying from 2.9 – 3.4% (fresh weight). It could be described as
having a fruity-citrus aroma, with a pleasant rosemary-like edge.
|Grown From||Climate||Height||Frost tol.||Pollination req'd||Evergreen/Deciduous||Harvest period|
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