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February 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM

 I've never seen one before...Thought it was interesting and cool!

The rainbow eucalyptus brings art to nature, naturally

By: Shannon Dybvig

Looking for a bright spot after the monotone winter months? Then set your color-starved eyes on the rainbow eucalyptus. These wild trees might look like a conceptual art installation, but those vibrant hues are all nature made. The only eucalyptus variety native to the northern hemisphere, these trees are cultivated around the world as crowd-pleasing arboretum bait as well as for wood pulp used in paper making. The color of the bark is actually an indication of age. The youngest bark is bright green and matures through a color wheel of purples, oranges, and maroons. And while they look whimsical, they're serious trees. The rainbow eucalyptus can grow to be 240 feet tall and nearly 8 feet in diameter. Check out this spectrum-spanning flora below.

Rainbow eucalyptuses are also known by the names "Mindanao gum" and "rainbow gum."
Image by WikiCommons

These trees can grow to be 240 feet tall and nearly 8 feet in diameter. Image by Andy Simonds

Rainbow eucalyptus is the only variety of eucalyptus native to the northern hemisphere.
Image by WikiCommons

While cultivated all around the world, the rainbow eucalyptus' natural distribution spans Indonesia and South East Asia. Image by Harry Alverson

Different colors indicate the age of the bark. The youngest bark is bright green while the oldest is orange or maroon. Image by Back to Earth - Artworks

These trees are pretty tolerant to all types of environments and will grow in a good variety of climates and soils as long as there is no frost or prolonged flooding. Image by Roberto Verzo

Rainbow eucalyptuses are grown decoratively as well as for wood pulp used in making paper.
Image by Cody Perhamus

Even though they're evergreen, the constant sloughing of the color-morphing bark means no tree ever looks the same for long. Image by Spencer9


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