The eucalypt is one of the tallest trees in the world. There are more then 600 species of eucalypts in Australia. Blackbutt, jarrah, karri, stringybark, ironbark are common names of eucalypts that grow in various parts of Australia. More than ninety per cent of Australia’s trees are eucalypts.
WHAT IS THE EUCALYPT LIKE
Eucalypts can be identified by their pixie cap flowers. They are hardwoods and there timber is used to make frames and fences. Eucalypts are tough and their leathery leaves turn on edge to escape the extreme heat of the summer sun. They tower more then 80 meters in height. The eucalypt has a greenish coloured leaf.
WHERE IS IT FOUND
Eucalypts are found from the dry coast of Western Australia to the forests of New South Wales. Mountain ash from the Dandenong ranges in Victoria and karri from southwestern Western Australia grow to over 80 metres in height. Around Sydney Harbour, blackbutts once grew as big as a large lounge room Eucalypts seem to be able to grow anywhere. They are found springing out of large cracks in rocks, growing at the edge of sandy dunes in the full force of sea gales, and bent and twisted at the edge of the snow line in the Alps. They are also found in other parts of the world from Ethiopia to Ecuador, from California to Israel. Where eucalypts grow is determined by many environmental factors such as soil type, amount of water, wind direction, the direction the tree is facing and whether there is frost.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EUCALYPT
Eucalypt oil is used for cough and colds. The oil is either rubbed on the chest or sniffed up in steam. It is also used in cleansers where strong smells need to be covered up. The taste and smell of eucalypts can be found in sweets. Insects are prevented from chewing the leaves because of the strong smell of the leaves.
It is the number of species of eucalypts and their ability to adapt to the Australian climate that make them so valuable.