EUCALYPTUS - STRAWBERRY GUM
Natural occurrence: Montane woodlands near Tenterfield, NSW. Description: Medium-sized tree up to 10 metres. Forms a crowned canopy in mature trees. The leaves are gray, and new growth has an attractive purple colour. The leaves are typically about 10cm long with two distinct stages: juvenile foliage is a broad-shaped, and adult leaves are slender in mature trees. The leaves also have a strong aroma, somewhat reminiscent of passion fruit or strawberries. The leaves are used for flavouring and perfumery. The bark is stringy, and young branches are smooth. The flowers are cream coloured and are followed by woody seed capsules. Cultivation: Prefers full-sun conditions. Tolerant of low soil fertility. Prefers well-drained soil. The tree is frost tolerant down to – 8 C degrees. Strawberry gum is ideal for temperate conditions, but can also grow in subtropical conditions. Leaves can be harvested as required. Harvesting the leaves for culinary use and cut-foliage can done individually or by pruning branches back by 60-80 cm. Regular light pruning also maintains a shorter tree and denser canopy more suited for backyard situations. Use: The strawberry gum has several uses due to the presence of essential oils in the leaf, and has been harvested commercially for flavouring and perfumery since the 1980s. Strawberry gum leaf is used to enhance the flavour of cooked fruit dishes, and in deserts, spiced jams and confectionary to bring-out the classic “berry” flavour. The leaf is used fresh or dried, and as a ground spice. It can also be used in native herb teas and carbonated beverages. The main ingredient, methyl cinnamate, which imparts a fruity aroma and flavour and composes of up to 98% of the essential oil, with ocimene being the remainder at 2%. The oil yield is very high, varying from 2 – 6% (fresh weight). When distilling, a natural solvent needs to be added to the still during distillation to prevent methyl cinnamate crystals clogging the still.
Plant Information or Specifications
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Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions)
Plants required to Pollinate
1 (Self Pollinating)
Learn about Pollination
Can it Handle Frosts?
Amount of leaves in Winter?
All Leaves (Evergreen)
Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas
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