Olida (Eucalyptus olida)
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Eucalyptus olida, also known as the Strawberry Gum, is a medium-sized tree restricted to sclerophyll woodlands on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, in Eastern Australia. Its leaves are intensely aromatic and are used as a bushfood spice. They are also distilled for crystal-like essential oils used in flavouring and perfumery.
The leaf was found to contain very high levels of methyl cinnamate (98%) by Dr Ian Southwell of the Essential Oils Unit, Wollongbar Agricultural Institute, in the 1980s. Methyl cinnamate is a flavour component of strawberry, and E. olida essential oil is commercially used as a natural fruit flavour and perfumery component. As a flavouring it has acquired several trade names, including ‘olida’ and ‘forestberry herb’.
E. olida leaf is used as a dried spice product in bushfood cooking, especially with fruit. It is also used in herbal teas and contains anti-oxidants. The oil yield is high at 2-6% fresh weight.
Wild harvesting and a few small-scale plantations supply the current industry demand.
Categories: Tree stubs | Bushfood | Flora of New South Wales | Eucalyptus | Myrtales of Australia