Eucalyptus is a genus of trees and bushes belonging to the Myrtaceae family. They are the most common trees in Australia. There are more than 700 eucalyptus species of which almost all originate from Australia. However, some species are also found in New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Currently many of these are grown for ornamental or production purposes in temperate areas of the American continent, Europe, Asia and Africa. They spread only in these areas because most of them are not rustic. Eucalyptus is actually only one of three very similar and close genres that are often confused. The others are called Corymbia and Angophora.
Some of these are nicknamed "rubber trees" because of the latex that comes out if their bark is cut. The name eucalyptus derives from the Greek and means "well hidden" with reference to the fact that the petals initially hide the center of the flower.
Originating from Tasmania, it is a tree that can reach 25 m, but can also be cultivated as a splendid shrub keeping its size at about two meters with appropriate pruning. As a tree it provides a light shade, suitable to protect forest specimens placed at its feet, the shrub form is pruned annually and retains the rounded gray-blue cholera leaves used in floral compositions.The eucalyptus genus includes about seven hundred species of evergreen trees and shrubs , all originating from the Australian continent;
Eucalyptus gunnii is a medium-sized, evergreen tree, which in nature can reach 25-30 meters in height, but remains more modest in European gardens. It has an erect trunk, very robust, with gray bark, which tends to break into red scales with the age of the plant; the crown is oval, not excessively wide; it is a very vigorous plant, which can develop up to a meter every year, but can be kept compact with frequent pruning.
The young foliage is oval, bluish green, becomes lanceolate with the age of the plant, dark green in color; plants pruned to large shrubs tend to maintain the youthful shape of the leaves. In summer it produces small pompon flowers, white or greenish in color, followed by small round fruits, containing the seeds.
The eucalyptus foliage contains a very aromatic essential oil, used in herbal medicine and also by the pharmaceutical industry; these trees are known as rubber trees, because of the sap that flows copiously from each cut made in the bark. In Italy other species of Eucalyptus are also cultivated, such as Eucalyptus coccifera, with a light brown, smooth bark; Eucalyptus globulus, with showy semi-woody buds, and almost blue-blue foliage; Eucalyptus cinerea. In some parts of Italy, such as in Liguria, the eucalyptus they are grown to obtain fronds for the cut flower market. Motorbikes can also be severely pruned, to keep the plant compact or to remove damaged parts; eucalyptus tends to develop smoothly even and pruned at the base.