Eucalyptus trees are fast growers and many species
reach a great height. Eucalyptus amygdalin (Labille) is the tallest
known tree, specimens attaining as much as 150 metres, exceeding in
height even the Californian Sequoia. Many species yield valuable timber,
while others are used for extraction of oils, kino, etc.
A great number of species yield essential oils, some being more aromatic
than others, and the oils from the various species differ widely in
Baron Ferdinand von Müller, a German botanist, explorer, and from 1857
to 1873 Director of the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, led to its
introduction into Europe, Africa and the Americas. He was the
first to suggest that the perfume of the leaves might be of use as
a disinfectant in fever districts.
Some seeds were planted in Algiers in 1857 and thrived. It was
found that the value of the antiseptic aromas of the leaves in fever
or marshy districts was far exceeded by the powerful drying action
of the roots on the soil.
Five years after planting the Eucalyptus, one of the most marshy and
unhealthy districts of Algiers was converted into one of the healthiest
As a result, the rapidly growing Eucalyptus trees were widely introduced
into many temperate regions, including Crete, with the view of preventing
Despite modern mosquito prevention methods, many villages in Crete
continue to plant and maintain lines of Eucalyptus trees for shade,
aroma and decoration.