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Eucalyptus has a clear, sharp, fresh and very distinctive smell, is pale yellow in color and watery in viscosity.
The Australian Blue-gum can sometimes reaches a height of 100 meters (300 feet), making it one of the highest trees in the world. There are over 500 species of Eucalyptus trees, with tough long and narrow blue-green leaves, creamy white flowers and smooth pale bark.
The 'eu' and 'kalypto' means 'well' and 'covered' in Greek, referring to the cup-like membrane that covers the flower bud, which is thrown off as the flower expands.
The Australian Aborigines calls it 'kino' and they use the leaves to cover serious wounds. Eucalyptus oil was introduced to Europe in 1788, and the first oil exported to England was called 'Sydney peppermint'. It was extracted from Eucalyptus peperita which is a more industrial type of oil.
The tree uses a lot of water while growing and has been used to clear water-logged land, draining the water from swamps where malaria mosquito may be found. The tree was thought to prevent malaria in the past, due to this draining action.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the fresh or partially dried leaves and young twigs.