Trees are amazing organisms, providing shelter, shade and fruit -- and even communicating with each other via fungi. The bark of certain trees can even bear colours of the rainbow, as seen in the stunning species Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly called the "rainbow eucalyptus" or "Mindanao gum."
Native to the tropical regions of New Britain, New Guinea, Seram, Sulawesi and Mindanao, the rainbow eucalyptus is a extremely large, broadleaved evergreen tree and is the only eucalyptus species indigenous to the northern hemisphere. It grows lightning quick, being able to double its size every year, before reaching a trunk diameter of 6 feet and soaring to heights above 200 feet!
The most extraordinary feature is its vibrantly coloured bark, bits of which are discarded every year at various intervals, revealing bright green inner bark (phloem) that eventually matures and changes into rainbow-hued blues, reds, oranges and purple-browns in the summer.
Though the tree can be grown in ornamental gardens (its colours showing best in tropical or subtropical places), its wood is often used for paper pulp in countries like the Philippines. Here is are images of the tree's leave and flowers.
The seeds of the rainbow eucalyptus are smaller than an ant -- but can be germinated at home, as this video below shows.
UPDATE: Commenter Steven S. writes to tell us that in most if not all U.S. states, the rainbow eucalyptus is considered an invasive species outside of its native range, and you may be cited and fined for growing them, or asked to cut them down. So please view the video below for merely educational purposes only.
Beautiful and vividly arresting, the rainbow eucalyptus is yet another giant wonder of nature that shows that trees come in all shapes, sizes and colours. For more info on incredible trees, check our links below.