These May Be the Prettiest Trees Ever

Photo: Bobbushphoto/iStockphoto. Snapshot from YouTube

It's as if Mother Nature conspired with Vincent Van Gogh, maybe with some input from Dr. Seuss, when coming up with Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus tree.

Of the more than 700 species of eucalyptus, most are native to Australia; a few are found in nearby areas like New Guinea and Indonesia, but the rainbow eucalyptus is special – it’s the only one native to the Northern Hemisphere. Hailing from the Philippine Island of Mindanao, it is now a pantropic species growing everywhere from Brazil and Congo to China and Hawaii. Around the world most E. deglupta are grown for pulp production to make paper.

Jeff Kubina [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr and harryalverson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]]/Flickr

Photos: Jeff Kubina [CC BY-SA 2.0]/Flickr and harryalverson [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]]/Flickr

Unlike trees with thick corky bark, E. deglupta has smooth bark that sheds as the tree grows. When one layer begins to peel away, fresh bright green bark is revealed. As the bark ages, it transforms to darker shades of green before heading to blues, purples, pinks and oranges as it starts to separate from the trunk, to a grand finale of deep maroon. Happening in different zones at different times, the result is a riot of striated color in patterns that never repeat; each moment as unique as a snowflake.

cogito ergo imago [CC By-SA 2.0]/Flickr