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Species of Etlingera are widely used for many different purposes. A common use of the Etlingera is to pull out and eat the inner sheathes of the leafy shoots of some species. The aromatic sweet and sour fruits of the Etlingera are also commonly eaten. Several species are used as medicines and as ingredients in local perfumes.
Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) is a fast-growing evergreen tree native to Queensland, Australia. It is known for its strong lemony scent when the leaves are crushed and for the lemon-scented oil produced from its leaves, which is used in perfumery. The trunks and branches of this species are powdery white to pinkish and the trunks are usually very straight. In nature, these trees can reach heights of 75-100 ft, but their size can be easily controlled through selective pruning and container size when grown in a greenhouse setting. The white blooms of Lemon Eucalyptus are not particularly distinctive, but they are followed by woody urn-shaped capsules about half an inch wide.
Lemon Eucalyptus is best suited to USDA Zones 8-11 and can survive temperatures as low as the mid-20s Fahrenheit for a short time. It thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, and should be watered moderately. In the summer months, water occasionally, and in the winter, water only once a month. Fertilize twice a year, once before the new growth flush in spring and again in early summer. Pruning can be done in late spring to control size and for ornamental shaping. Both young and mature specimens display their ornamental foliage with aromatic fragrance.
In addition to its ornamental qualities, Lemon Eucalyptus has a number of practical uses. The leaves can be used in teas, tinctures, and as a culinary herb for fish and chicken dishes. The plant has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and antiviral properties and can be used for antiseptic purposes. Lemon eucalyptus oil is also widely used in aromatherapy, such as in oil diffusers or baths.
Lemon Eucalyptus is an attractive and useful plant to have in the garden or landscape. It provides a number of benefits, including its impressive height, fragrant foliage, healing oil, and ornamental qualities. Just be sure to protect it in colder and humid climates, as it is still susceptible to damage in these conditions.
Eucalyptus deglupta, also known as Rainbow Eucalyptus, is a tall, columnar tree native to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. It is known for its striking peeling bark that displays a range of colors, and it can grow up to 200 feet tall in its natural habitat, though it typically averages around 80 feet. This species is fast growing and prefers humid, cooler tropical climates. It thrives in USDA Zone 10-11, making it suitable for outdoor cultivation in Florida and southern California. It thrives in full sun and moist soil, and is tolerant of flooding.
To care for Eucalyptus deglupta, fertilize with an organic fertilizer in the spring and summer, and cut back for size or shape control in the spring before growth starts. Prune away dead or damaged branches anytime. If growing the plant in a pot in a colder region, keep the soil moist, use ample drainage, and provide supplemental lighting if needed. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer and support the larger trunk if grown indoors. This tree is planted for its beautiful bark and stately appearance. Its leaves have a pleasant, spicy aroma due to their essential oils.
Eutrema japonicum grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river valleys in Japan. It is green, has an extremely strong flavor.
It favours a moist, humus-rich soil and a semi-shaded location. It is very quick-growing and has a large attractively round kidney-shaped leaf resembling an Asarum and a smallish rather elegant white flower on a whiskery stem.