Olida (Eucalyptus olida)



Olida (Eucalyptus olida) is a species of tree in the family Myrtaceae, cultivated for its essential oil and spice qualities. Olida is also known as Strawberry Gum, a medium-sized tree confined to sclerophyll woodlands on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, in Eastern Australia.

Eucalyptus olida can grow up to 20 m tall with fibrous bark in mature trees, bearing cream-colored flowers, followed by small woody capsules. Juvenile leaves are dull green, ovate and about 7 cm long, while the adult leaves are glossy green, lanceolate and up to 17 cm long.

The leaves are distilled for their crystal-like essential oils, that are commercially used as a natural fruit flavoring and as perfumery component. The leaves contain 98% of methyl cinnamate, with the oil yield at 2-6% of fresh weight. The dried aromatic leaves are used as a bushfood spice and in herbal teas. Bushfood refers to any animal and plant foods that are native to Australia. The leaves has high anti-oxidant properties.

Eucalyptus olida juvenile foliageEucalyptus olida juvenile foliage
Author: John Moss (public domain)

Adult leaves of Eucalyptus olida, showing transparent leaf oil dotsAdult leaves of Eucalyptus olida, showing transparent leaf oil dots
Author: John Moss (public domain)

Leaves of Eucalyptus olida packed into steam distillation unitLeaves of Eucalyptus olida packed into steam distillation unit
Author: Zaareo (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Methyl cinnamateMethyl cinnamate
Author: Zaareo (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

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