Eucalyptus olida, commonly referred to as Strawberry Eucalyptus or the Strawberry Gum tree, is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree that hails from the rainforests of the New South Wales hinterland. It gets its common name from the unique fragrance that emanates from its leaves, reminiscent of ripe strawberries.
The plant typically reaches a height of 6 to 30 meters, but if you're wanting to plant this in your own back yard it can be pruned to be a mid-sized shrub. Its foliage consists of narrow, lance-shaped leaves that are glossy green and carry the distinct strawberry aroma, particularly when crushed or rubbed - and right now this incredible tree is beginning to blossom.
If you want to grow Strawberry Gum yourself then follow this simple grow guide:
1. Location: Plant your Strawberry Eucalyptus in a sunny to partially shaded spot. It thrives in well-draining soil with good air circulation.
2. Watering: Water your Strawberry Eucalyptus regularly, especially during the dry seasons. Be sure to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. It's important to allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
3. Pruning: Prune your Strawberry Eucalyptus to maintain its desired shape and size. Regular pruning will encourage bushier growth.
4. Fertilisation: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertiliser in the spring to provide essential nutrients.
5. Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for common garden pests like aphids and scale insects.
6. Frost Protection: Strawberry Eucalyptus is not frost-tolerant, so if you live in an area prone to freezing temperatures, consider growing it in a pot that can be moved indoors during winter.
7. Propagation: You can propagate Strawberry Eucalyptus from seeds, which should be sown in a well-draining potting mix.
For us, Strawberry Gum is one of our most prized and championed botanicals, and its yearly blooming gives us a great opportunity to spotlight it in drinks, as well as our Coral Gin.
The Strawberry and Cream Fizz is one of our best drinks with both Coral Gin and Strawberry Gum showcasing their incredible flavours, so follow the cocktail recipe below for a deliciously complex gin fizz:
What you'll need:
60ml Coral Gin
15ml Lemon Juice
15ml Lime Juice
20ml Strawberry Gum Syrup*
1 Egg White (or equivalent replacement)
Bar Spoon of Vanilla Extract (Optional)
30ml Soda Water
Shake all of your ingredients except soda water in a shaker filled with ice. Pour into a chilled highball glass and top with soda. Garnish with a Eucalyptus blossom.
*You can always make this yourself by steeping Strawberry Gum in sugar syrup - or you can purchase this internationally through our friends at Melbourne Bushfood.