The river red gum is one of the most widely planted eucalyptus trees in the world. Although native to Australia, it is also successfully cultivated in Portugal and Spain.
The species – Eucalyptus camaldulensis – can grow to 60 m/ 196 ft tall and 4 m/ 13 ft in diameter and reach the ages of 500 to 1000 years. Its status on the IUCN Red List is Least Concern.
Health benefits and uses
Eucalyptus camaldulensis leaves contain 0.27% of the essential oil, consisting of terpene ethers, cineol, pinene, and phellandrene; also flavonoid aromadendrin, and other active chemical components. Although this essential oil has milder properties than other eucalyptus species, its effectiveness against the herpes virus has been proven by clinical studies. It is also very beneficial for diseases of acute respiratory and urogenital tract infections and helps expectoration.
I have seen eucalypt forests in Andalusia (Spain) and central Portugal. They have a minty, pine scent with a touch of honey. The cultivation of Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Eucalyptus globulus (the Tasmanian blue gum) in Spain began at the end of the 19th century. Today, the eucalypts plantations in the country present almost 4% of the national forest area, producing 27% of the country’s industrial wood. Eucalyptus globulus is currently the most common tree species in Portugal (812 000 ha; 26% of the total forest area); it was first introduced in the 1850s in the country.
I hope you enjoyed my Green planet: Evergreen river red gums in Spain post. If you like nature, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:
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