Eucaliptus general description

Eucaliptus or eucalyptus is the common name of the genus Eucalyptus, belonging to the Myrtaceae family, more than five hundred species belong to this genus. Eucalyptus, originally from Oceania, were introduced in the Mediterranean basin in the mid-19th century. They are evergreen trees or shrubs, ten to sixty meters high, depending on the species. The leaves when young are oval of a bluish green color, then they tend to become lanceolate, the color changes to a bluish green, they are very aromatic.They are cultivated, for ornamental or productive purposes, in the temperate areas of the planet, they have spread only in these areas because most of the species can not stand low temperatures.Eucalyptol is obtained from the leaves, used in herbal medicine and in the pharmaceutical industry.

Eucaliptus main species cultivated in Italy

Some species of eucalyptus are present in Italy, we recall some of the most important.The most common species in Italy is Eucalyptus camaldulensis, a tree from thirty to sixty meters high, has a smooth and white bark which, when ripe, detaches in long strips. It blooms from June to September. Eucalyptus cinerea, is cultivated for ornamental purposes, its cut fronds are used in floral compositions.Eucalyptus globulus, originally from Tasmania, is a majestic tree that can reach thirty meters in height, is widespread from Liguria to Sicily. The leaves are very aromatic, the essential oil is extracted from them. The bark is gray-green and smooth, it detaches leaving the underlying creamy white layer visible.The eucalyptus that best tolerates low temperatures is Eucalyptus gunnii,

Cultivation of eucalyptus

Eucalyptus love sunny positions sheltered from the wind, the soil should be well drained, without stagnation of water, soft and fresh, however they also grow in stony and nutrient-poor soils. They tolerate periods of drought, but in the case of young plants, recently planted, during the summer, they should be watered at least a couple of times a month.They reproduce by seed in spring, the seedlings are planted in autumn, when have reached the age of at least six months. If the planting does not follow a rainy period, they must be watered.To give the plant the desired shape we must prune it, if we want to have an arboreal one we choose a sprout, which will become the main stem, and cut all the others at the base, during the first years it will be necessary to tie it to a brace.

Uses of eucalyptus

Eucalyptus are used to create windbreak barriers, they have the ability to absorb a lot of water from the ground giving it to the atmosphere with transpiration. In Italy they were widely used for this reason during the reclamation of the Agro Pontino in the thirties of the last century, they drained the water and protected from tornadoes, frequent in those areas. In addition, the particularly short wood fiber is used in the production of high quality paper.They withstand even very severe pruning very well, for this and for the beauty of their leaves, the juvenile fronds are used in floriculture. some species extract the essential oil, which is used in herbal medicine,

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