| Peppermint Eucalyptus |
| Eucalyptus radiata|
| Uses: Medicinal/Aromatic/Industrial
|| Duration: Perennial (hardy in zones 9-10) |
| When to Sow: Anytime
|| Ease of Germination: Moderate |
This is the first eucalyptus species to be exploited commercially for its oil, which has a strong peppermint odour and flavour. The oil is antiseptic, expectorant and antispasmodic, and with its cooling, stimulating character, it is very popular in aromatherapy. Peppermint eucalyptus is a tree growing to 30m (100ft) or more in height with small creamy white flowers in spring. Though it is tolerant of most soil conditions, it thrives best in moist, fertile soil with good drainage. Gardeners like it for its excellent shape and landscaping potential. A popular over-the-counter mentholated rub for cold and flu is made with the oil. Though not appropriate for internal use, the fresh leaves and oil are used in steam inhalants for asthma and colds and applied topically to burns, wounds and infections of the skin. Oil added to a spray bottle of water or to a humidifier can be used to disinfect the air. Easily grown from seed, with germination in 10-20 days.