Eucalyptus deglupta: The Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree

I found the name of the tree that I saw during my walk in the park last month! Do you remember the beautiful multi-colored bark of a tree that I showed you in this post? You 'memberrrr! (George Lopez anyone?) It's called Eucalyptus deglupta - also known as Rainbow Eucalyptus, Mindanao Gum, or Rainbow Gum!

These are the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees I spotted in my local park:

Wouldn't you know that during a completely unrelated Google image search I spot a photo of this tree!  I had never seen anything like this before, so ever since I marveled at it in the park that day, I have wondered about their name.  Naturally I could have Googled "rainbow tree bark" or something like that, but I didn't, and so I was meant to find out like this.  What a spectacular work of art, nature blows my mind all the time.  :) Give me a few acres full of these colorful beasts and a bunch of succulents and cacti and that's my nirvana!

So, you're probably wondering where the Rainbow Eucalyptus hails from and what causes its unique rainbow colored peeling bark?  Well, unlike many other trees with thick crusty barks, the Rainbow Eucalyptus has a smooth surface that sheds thin flaky layers.  Its bark is yellow, brown, and purple, but reveals various shades of green after flaking.  Eucalyptus deglupta is native to the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.  It is a newcomer to the plantation species and, in terms of cultivation its "...earliest introductions were from indigenous stands that occur in the Cotabato area of Mindanao to other islands in the Philippines..."(source).  

This tree needs lots of overhead light and moisture to thrive - it loves a rainforest-like environment - and can grow in cool temperatures but won't survive a freeze.  Unlike other types of Eucalyptus trees that are mostly prevalent in Australia, this tree does not exude a scented oil in the form of sap - which is why Eucalyptus trees are commonly referred to as "gum trees."  Eucalyptus deglupta grows fast and tall, growing anywhere from 8-10 feet in one growing season, and reaching overall heights of up to 246 feet!  Yowza, I want hundreds so I can make myself a dense rainbow forest!

The Rainbow Eucalyptus eventually spread out from its native lands to Somoa, said to be a common sight on the Hawaiian islands, and has spread to all sorts of countries with warm climates, including southern parts of the United States.  Obviously, it's here in South Florida.  Through my searches I've also learned that there are many growing at the Miami Metro Zoo and Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens.  I have been to both, though not to the zoo very recently, and I never noticed this tree!  Anyway, bravo to the landscape designer who chose these trees for Miami Dade Parks - FANTASTIC!  Like I said, I want hundreds of them, hehehe...  I have already found an ad on Craigslist from someone in Miami selling $15 Rainbow Eucalyptus saplings!  It's on.

I also want to share this excerpt from an article I found online called Under The Rainbow by LariAnn Garner, I like her description of the bark and the tree as a living work of art:
"As the newly exposed bark slowly ages, it changes from bright green to a darker green, then bluish to purplish, and then pink-orange. Finally, the color becomes a brownish maroon right before exfoliation occurs. Since this process is happening in different zones of the trunk and in different stages, simultaneously, the colors are varied and almost constantly changing. As a result, the tree will never have the same color pattern twice, making it like a work of living art."
Of course, scroll on for lots of breathtaking images of Rainbow Eucalyptus trees... um, did I mention how much I want one? ;P

For more information visit:

Source for first image above: via salpalsd on Pinterest

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Source: via Joani on Pinterest

Source: via Tracy on Pinterest

Source: via Jaime on Pinterest

(All images in this post are individually cited and sourced via Pinterest, except for the four small clustered images at the top of this post, which are my personal photographs.)