Herb: Cabbage Gum

Latin name: Eucalyptus pauciflora

Synonyms: Eucalyptus coriacea

Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)

Description of the plant:


12 m
(39 feet)

July to

Habitat of Cabbage Gum:

Edges of frosty treeless valleys in mountains to 1500 metres and down to sea level in W. Victoria.

Other uses of the herb:

Fairly tolerant of maritime exposure, though the foliage may be burnt by stronger winds. It can be grown as a shelterbelt tree. Wood - soft, not durable, apt to warp. It is used for fence rails, fuel etc.

Propagation of Cabbage Gum:

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 the herb:

Edges of frosty treeless valleys in mountains to 1500 metres and down to sea level in W. Victoria.

Medicinal use of Cabbage Gum:

None known

Known hazards of Eucalyptus pauciflora:

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.