Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian blue gum)
Eucalyptus globulus near Hobart, Tasmania (Photo: Stephen Hopper)
Eucalyptus globulus Labill.
Tasmanian blue gum, southern blue gum, blue gum
Tall, open forest on a wide range of soils.
Essential oil, medicinal, timber, paper pulp, herbal tea, honey, carbon sequestration, ornamental.
Eucalyptus oil can cause headaches and convulsions and can be fatal if ingested. It should be kept out of the reach of children. The oil can also cause contact dermatitis.
About this species
Tasmanian blue gum was first described in 1799 by Jacques de Labillardière, a French botanist who collected specimens at Recherche Bay on the south-east coast of Tasmania during the d’Entrecasteaux expedition in 1792. The specific epithet globulus is Latin for globe-like or spherical and refers to the shape of the fruit.
Eucalyptus globulus forms tall, open forests, growing in monospecific stands or with other species of eucalypt. It can grow as a stunted shrub in extreme environments, such as on rock outcrops. It is adapted to temperate environments with winter rainfall and sufficient summer rainfall, and thrives in the cool zones of tropical mountains. It is widely planted across southern Australia and in many other parts of the world for paper pulp and timber production, and as an ornamental. In 1962 E. globulus was proclaimed the floral emblem of Tasmania.
The leaves of Eucalyptus globulus are the principal source of eucalyptus oil. The oil is antiseptic and is used medicinally as a decongestant for treating catarrh, bronchitis and influenza. It is also used in liniments for bruises, sprains and muscular pains, and to make herbal tea infusions.