Herb: Black Box
Latin name: Eucalyptus largiflorens
Synonyms: Eucalyptus bicolor
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)
Edible parts of Black Box:Seed - soaked for a couple of hours in several changes of water and then dried and ground into a meal which is eaten raw.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:River flats that are dry in summer and inundated in the winter. Usually on clay or clay loams with poor drainage in areas with low rainfall and high summer temperatures.
Other uses of Black Box:An essential oil is obtained from this plant (from the leaves?. Yields are up to 0.5%. Wood - hard, tough, strong, very durable, heavy, pink or reddish-brown. An excellent timber.
Propagation of the herb:Seed - surface sow February/March in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2°C. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. Plant out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from the cold in their first winter. The seed can also be sown in June, the young trees being planted in their final positions in late spring of the following year. The seed has a long viability.
Cultivation of Black Box:River flats that are dry in summer and inundated in the winter. Usually on clay or clay loams with poor drainage in areas with low rainfall and high summer temperatures.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Eucalyptus largiflorens:Citronellal, an essential oil found in most Eucalyptus species is reported to be mutagenic when used in isolation. In large doses, oil of eucalyptus, like so many essential oils has caused fatalities from intestinal irritation. Death is reported from ingestion of 4 - 24 ml of essential oils, but recoveries are also reported for the same amount. Symptoms include gastroenteric burning and irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oxygen deficiency, ,weakness, dizziness, stupor, difficult respiration, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and death, usually due to respiratory failure.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.