Seeded eucalyptus is back and we are so excited that we made it this week’s Flower of the Week!
There are over 700 different species of Eucalyptus, most being native to Australia. Eucalyptus trees or shrubs have a high degree of variance among them. Their leaves and bark may have vast differences, but some commonalities include the eucalyptus oil on the leaves, toxicity, and a fast growth rate.
Eucalyptus is a popular choice in modern floral arrangements, and florists appreciate the differences in leaf shape and structure. The most popular type we use is termed “seeded eucalyptus” —however, it is actually any type of immature eucalyptus with the operculum attached. The operculum is a bud cap that holds the flower in and gives the capsule a fatter look. It’s not actually a seed! Nor is it a variety, but a developmental stage.
From April to mid-July, florists are hard-pressed to lay hands on this popular greenery choice. We love using it in our designs because it adds so much to the overall arrangement: the olive tones of the leaf complement the darker, more deciduous shades of fern and grass; the structure of the opercula bring an exotic texture against the softer forms of roses; and the form itself of the eucalyptus creates a yielding structure for the individual blooms.
And of course, we love the smell of Eucalyptus! When we have any left over, we use it at home for self-care. Some ideas are to tie leaves in a loose bunch and steep in a hot bath; hang several stems of Baby Blue and hang upside down in the shower for a fragrant steam; or dry your eucalyptus leaves and store them in sachets for a natural insect repellent.
Remember that the leaves are toxic when ingested. Keep it away from cats who can’t be trusted not to eat things.
Also, if you’re interested in reading about how gold was absorbed into the leaves of Eucalypts in Australia, check out this Smithsonian Article! Nature is metal.
Australian Plants Online, by the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants