Some facts about Eucalyptus
- Otherwise known as…: Eucalyptus Essential Oil from the Eucalyptus Globulus is also known as Tasmanian Blue Gum.
- A floral name: The ‘eu’ and ‘kalypto’ in the word mean ‘well’ and ‘covered’ in Greek. This refers to the delicate membrane that covers the flower bud, which falls off as the flower grows.
- See right through: You can, in fact, see the oil in a Eucalyptus leaf. If you hold it up to the light, you can see tiny pricks of white or yellow, which is the Eucalyptus Essential Oil in the tissue of the leaf.Similarly, if you crush the leaf in your fingers, you can immediately smell the invigorating aroma of Eucalyptus Oil.
Anytime you see a picture of a koala, it’s in a tree. he tree you see it spending its time in is none other than the eucalyptus tree.
The Koala is the only mammal, other than the Greater Glider and Ringtail Possum, which can survive on a diet of eucalyptus leaves. Eucalyptus leaves are very fibrous and low in nutrition, and to most animals are extremely poisonous. To cope with such a diet, nature has equipped Koalas with specialised adaptations.
A very slow metabolic rate allows Koalas to retain food within their digestive system for a relatively long period of time, maximising the amount of energy able to be extracted. At the same time, this slow metabolic rate minimises energy requirements. Koalas also sleep somewhere between 18 and 22 hours each day in order to conserve energy.
The Koalas’ digestive system is especially adapted to detoxify the poisonous chemicals in the leaves. The toxins are thought to be produced by the gum trees as a protection against leaf-eating animals like insects. Trees which grow on less fertile soils seem to have more toxins than those growing on good soils. This could be one reason why Koalas will eat only certain types of eucalypts, and why they will sometimes even avoid them when they are growing on certain soils.