Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens)

Tree
E. bicolor. A.Cunn.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Black Box
Eucalyptus largiflorens
Myrtaceae

An essential oil is obtained from this plant (from the leaves?[K]. Yields are up to 0.5%[156].

Wood – hard, tough, strong, very durable, heavy, pink or reddish-brown[154]. An excellent timber[167].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Seed – soaked for a couple of hours in several changes of water and then dried and ground into a meal which is eaten raw[144].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Citronellal, an essential oil found in most Eucalyptus species is reported to be mutagenic when used in isolation[269]. In large doses, oil of eucalyptus, like so many essential oils has caused fatalities from intestinal irritation[269]. Death is reported from ingestion of 4 - 24 ml of essential oils, but recoveries are also reported for the same amount[269]. Symptoms include gastroenteric burning and irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, oxygen deficiency, ,weakness, dizziness, stupor, difficult respiration, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and death, usually due to respiratory failure[269].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – surface sow February/March in a sunny position in a greenhouse[11, 78, 134]. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 – 8 weeks cold stratification at 2¡c[200]. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. Plant out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from the cold in their first winter. The seed can also be sown in June, the young trees being planted in their final positions in late spring of the following year. The seed has a long viability[200].
Prefers a sunny position in a moderately fertile well-drained moisture retentive circum-neutral soil[200]. Tolerates poor and dry soils, especially those low in mineral elements[200]. A drought tolerant plant once established[200], it succeeds in limestone soils and tolerates saline soils[167]. One report says that this species resists frost[77], whilst another suggests that it is in zone 10 which is not frost hardy[200]. Plants obtained from the colder provenances of its range might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain. Eucalyptus species have not adopted a deciduous habit and continue to grow until it is too cold for them to do so. This makes them more susceptible to damage from sudden cold snaps. If temperature fluctuations are more gradual, as in a woodland for example, the plants have the opportunity to stop growing and become dormant, thus making them more cold resistant. A deep mulch around the roots to prevent the soil from freezing also helps the trees to survive cold conditions[200]. The members of this genus are remarkably adaptable however, there can be a dramatic increase in the hardiness of subsequent generations from the seed of survivors growing in temperate zones[200]. Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster, they are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation[200]. A slow growing tree[77]. Plants are shallow-rooting and, especially in windy areas, should be planted out into their permanent positions when small to ensure that they do not suffer from wind-rock[245]. They strongly resent root disturbance and should be container grown before planting out into their permanent position[11]. The flowers are rich in nectar and are a good bee crop[200].
Australia – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.