Leatherwood honey is, as its name suggests, the honey that bees produce from the nectar of the Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) tree’s flower. The Leatherwood tree is found only in Tasmania and grows in the wetter forest regions throughout the western portion of the state. Leatherwood is the single most important nectar plant in Tasmania accounting for about 70% of all honey produced. Other sources of nectar include clover (in pasture), eucalyptus blossoms and blackberry.
The common name of the E. lucida is probably derived from the waxy, leather-coloured sheath that covers young leaves and petals, but may also be derived from the toughness of the timber.
The bees that are used in the Tasmanian honey industry are the Italian ligustica bees, which were introduced to Tasmania in 1884. The Italian bees perform better than other bees which have largely died out.
Leatherwood honey is slightly liquid with a smooth creamy texture and an ochre-yellow colour. The perfume is intense and the flavour is clean and fresh.