Eucalyptus olida, also known as the Strawberry Gum, is a medium-sized tree to 20 m, restricted to sclerophyll woodlands on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, in Eastern Australia. The bark is fibrous in mature trees. Flowers are cream colored and are followed by small woody capsules. The juvenile leaves are ovate (7 cm long) and dull green. Adult leaves are lanceolate and glossy green (to 17 cm). The leaves are intensely aromatic and are used as a bushfood spice.
E.olida is classified as a threatened species in the wild, but is becoming more common in cultivation due to its essential oil and spice qualities. It is grown in Australia.
Traditional Ethnic Uses
The leaf of E.olida is distilled for its crystal-like essential oils used in flavoring and perfumery.
Taste and Aroma Description
The leaf has very high levels of methyl cinnamate (98%). The oil yield is high at 2-6% fresh weight. Methyl cinnamate is commercially used as a natural fruit flavor and perfumery component.
History/Region of Origin
Eucalyptus olida was initially wild harvested, but plantations now supply the current industry demand.
A Few Ideas to Get You Started
E. olida leaf is also used as a dried spice product in bushfood cooking, especially with fruit; and in herbal teas. It has high anti-oxidant activity. In the Australian native foods industry several trade names are used, including ‘olida’ and ‘forestberry herb’.