Different Kinds of Eucalyptus Leaves (Foliage)
The genus eucalyptus consists of dozens of species of shrubs, mallees, and trees, all of which belong to the Myrtaceae family. These shrubs and trees are incredibly popular, mostly due to the multi-purpose eucalyptus oil that is obtained from nearly all types of eucalyptus leaves.
Also known as gum trees, this plant is almost entirely native to Australia. However, these trees are also found in tropical and temperate climates in several other parts of the world.
Thanks to their attractive peeling bark, unique eucalyptus leaves types, pleasant fragrance, and moderately fast growth rate, eucalyptus trees are commonly grown in home landscapes as windbreaks, ornamental trees, and specimen trees.
Interestingly, not all eucalyptus trees have the same type of foliage. Depending upon the age of the tree and its species, its leaves may vary in shape and color. Let’s dig a little deeper and find out more about eucalyptus trees and all kinds of eucalyptus leaves.
- How Do You Differentiate Types of Eucalyptus Leaves?
- Eucalyptus Leaves Variety
- Benefits of Eucalyptus Leaves
- Facts and Questions
How Do You Identify Eucalyptus Leaf Types?
The foliage of eucalyptus trees and shrubs is pretty unique and can be easily distinguished from other trees and plants. Here is what you need to know to identify the leaves of a eucalyptus tree.
Eucalyptus trees have protracted and pointed leaves (round if the tree is young) with flat sides and a leathery texture. These leaves feature oil-secreting glands that can be seen with the help of a magnifying glass. Due to the presence of oil, all eucalyptus leaves give off a camphor-like smell.
The waxy coating on the leaves gives them a frosty appearance. Depending upon the variety and the age of the tree, eucalyptus leaves may vary in shape and color. Eucalyptus leaves can be round and oval or narrow and long in shape. The color may vary from blue-green to green-gray. As the tree matures, the color of the leaves darkens.
Not only its shape and color, but the arrangement of the leaves also vary according to their age. Young eucalyptus tree leaves types feature an opposite arrangement of leaves while mature ones sport an alternate leaf pattern.
Eucalyptus Foliage (Leaf) Type
Based on its shape, the foliage of eucalyptus trees can be divided into 3 broad categories- long and narrow, round and oval. Keep reading to find out more about the different types of eucalyptus leaves.
A. Long and Narrow
First up on our list of different kinds of eucalyptus leaves are the elongated, ribbon-like eucalyptus leaves.
Several eucalyptus trees you see feature narrow, long, and willow like leaves. In some cases, the shape of the leaves may be different when younger and may eventually become long and narrow once the tree and leaves are mature.
Eucalyptus trees with this type of leaves are used for their oil. The perfect example of this would be the Tasmanian blue gum. The leaves of this eucalyptus variety are one of the main sources of eucalyptus oil. Other eucalyptus varieties that bear similar eucalyptus leaves types are Blue malle and Oil malle.
B. Round Leaves
Other common types of gum leaves are round. Round and blue-tinged eucalyptus foliage is known to be aesthetically pleasing and is often used in floral arrangements. In some cases, the leaves are round only when the tree is young.
As the tree matures, the kinds of eucalyptus leaves may become thinner and longer. One way to retain the attractive round shape of the leaves is to regularly trim the tree to keep it small.
But some eucalyptus varieties continue to feature roundish leaves even after attaining maturity. A few examples of such varieties are Broad-leafed sally, Round-leaved mallee, Eucalyptus baby blue, and Spinning gum.
C. Oval Eucalyptus Leaf Types
A few eucalyptus varieties come with oval to (almost) heart-shaped leaves. For instance, the foliage of Round-leaved blue gum is frosted and broad at the base. On the other hand, Rose gum tends to have slightly narrow leaves.
Benefits of Different Eucalyptus Leaves Types
Eucalyptus leaves can be a natural cure for an array of problems like pain, cold inflammation, and more. Here are a few major benefits offered by eucalyptus leaf and the oil extracted from it.
1. Great for health
Different types of eucalyptus leaves are high in antioxidants, especially flavonoids. Flavonoids tend to be great for health and protect the body from free radical damage. While you can’t consume the whole eucalyptus leaves you can use dried leaves to make tea.
2. Relieves symptoms of cold
Eucalyptus may also help in relieving symptoms of a cold. It is commonly used in cough and cold medications. Research also suggests that eucalyptus can aid in decreasing mucus and is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
These properties are mainly attributed to the presence of eucalyptol or cineole, a compound that is found in eucalyptus oil. To get rid of cold and its symptoms, inhale eucalyptus oil through your nose or use a eucalyptus-based topical decongestant.
3. Relieves pain
The presence of anti-inflammatory compounds makes eucalyptus effective in reducing pain. You can inhale eucalyptus essential oil extracted from various kinds of eucalyptus leaves for relieving pain.
4. Help treat skin problems
Eucalyptus leaves types are often used to treat dry skin. It does so by increasing the ceramide content of the skin. These fatty acids maintain the skin barrier and help retain skin moisture.
Lower ceramide levels are common in people with problems like dandruff, dry skin, or skin disorders. Topical solutions with eucalyptus leaf extract can help resolve these issues by boosting ceramide production and increasing skin barrier protection.
Other than the benefits mentioned above, eucalyptus is also known to help improve dental health, reduce symptoms of stress, and is known to be a natural insect repellent.
Related: Types of Eucalyptus Houseplants | Eucalyptus Lifespan | Eucalyptus Care Guide| How To Prune Eucalyptus Trees
Facts and Questions
Q. Does eucalyptus have leaves around the year?
A. Eucalyptus trees are evergreen. This means that their leaves do not turn brown in winter and the trees are adorned with rich green foliage round the year. After a year they start to shed their leaves. New growth starts to fill up soon after.
Q. What color are eucalyptus leaves?
A. Eucalyptus leaves are known for their unique green shade. The color of different kinds of eucalyptus leaves may range from blue-green to gray-green. The color seems to turn deeper as the tree ages. The leaves also feature a leathery, glossy texture.
Q. Do eucalyptus leaves change Color?
A. Almost all eucalyptus species are evergreen and do not change foliage color in the fall. But yes, eucalyptus trees may change color as the tree ages. The eucalyptus leaves types get darker in color as the tree matures.
Q. Why does my tree have red Eucalyptus leaf types?
A. Eucalyptus plants are constantly shedding their leaves, which turn reddish before dropping off. Discolored eucalyptus tree leaves can also be a sign of eucalyptus tree disease caused by fungi. Other signs of collar, foot, or crown rot include dark brown or red-brown wood beneath the tree’s bark.
Out of the many factors that make eucalyptus stand out from other flora, its foliage deserves a special mention. The unique eucalyptus tree leaves types are quite popular in the floral and medicinal industry and are widely used in home floral arrangements as well.
These were the types of Eucalyptus tree leaves commonly known. Most people assume that there are two types of eucalyptus leaves but actually there are three. Hopefully, the article helped you get a better understanding of the tree.