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Progress in Essential Oils

By: Brian M. Lawrence, Consultant
Posted: November 12, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of P&F magazine.

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Lemon–scented tea tree oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Leptospermum petersonii F.M. Bailey (syn. L.citratum R.W.Challinor, Cheel et A.R. Penfold) a fast-growing tall shrub that is popular as an ornamental throughout Australia. Fergus (2000) reported that lemon-scented tea tree oil was a potentially next important oil of Australian origin. With data obtained from Fergus (2008), Lawrence (2009) reported that ca. 1 tonne of lemon scented tea tree oil was produced annually in Australia.

Lassak and Southwell (1977) reported that an oil of L.petersonii contained citral (neral +geranial) (50%) and citronellal (40%) as the major components. Brophy et al. (1989) reported the existence of more than one chemotype of L.petersonii. They noted that in addition to the oil, which was lemonscented containing large amounts of neral + geranial and citronellal, they found a chemotype that was rich in sesquiterpenes.

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