Herb: Yellow Gum

Latin name: Eucalyptus leucoxylon

Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)

Edible parts of Yellow Gum:

An essential oil from the leaves is used as a food flavouring in baked goods, ice cream and sweets.

Description of the plant:


15 m
(49 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Open woodland in areas with cool often frosty winters and hot summers.

Other uses of Yellow Gum:

An orange dye is obtained from the leaves and green seedpods. It does not require a mordant. Wood - pale, tough, strong and durable.

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 2C. 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 Yellow Gum:

Open woodland in areas with cool often frosty winters and hot summers.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Eucalyptus leucoxylon:

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.