Eucalyptus is the buzzword in the world of florists and home decor.

The fast-growing evergreen tree, native to Australia, has been popping up in bridal bouquets and people’s showers for a while now. So what is the fascination with it?

“I believe eucalyptus is popular because of the oils that are extracted out of it for medicinal purposes,” said Kelly Briner, owner of The Blooming Branch in Savannah, Missouri. “It’s also popular because it’s the new trend for greenery (in arrangements) if you like that sage green color.”

As an ingredient, the plant is used to reduce symptoms of coughs, colds and congestion. It’s also used in creams and ointments aimed at relieving muscle and joint pain. There are more than 400 different species of eucalyptus, but Blue Gem is the main source for most home decor, cosmetic and floral arrangements.

“You can use eucalyptus in about everything, from floral arrangements to the shower in your home,” Briner said. “We see people using it in their homes the most. It’s great for showers to help you relax and clean sinuses, to help you breathe better. The steam from the shower releases oils from the plant.”

Briner said eucalyptus is a type of greenery that adds texture and dimension. Different types work well to add height, shape and texture to floral arrangements and can last weeks, even if used in the shower.

However, eucalyptus is toxic to pets, so be careful.

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