Friday 11 October 2013

Rainbow Eucalyptus

Image: Kristi
Eucalyptus deglupta
Who needs flowers when you have a trunk like this?

Image: thaths
The Rainbow Eucalyptus is an amazing tree who's bark has all the colours of an exceptional sunset.

Image: Kristi
To me, it doesn't look so much like it was carefully painted...

Image: Wikimedia
But more as if buckets of paint were allowed to drip and ooze all over their trunks and branches. Van Gogh would've loved it!

Image: Forest and Kim Starr
The effect comes from the peeling of bark. Fresh, new bark is bright green at first but soon starts to turn blue, purple then red with exposure to air, before it drops off to reveal yet more bright green beneath. This process occurs constantly so that the whole tree is wrapped in technicolour.

Image: Simon Tunbridge
Out of over 700 species of Eucalyptus, the Rainbow variety is one of the nine that isn't found in Australia. Instead, it's found in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and all the way up to the Philippines, the most northerly of any Eucalyptus. These days they're found across the world so long as it's hot and wet enough. Not only because they're pretty, but also because they have their uses...

Image: Spencer9
It seems strange, but the Rainbow Eucalyptus is used for pulpwood to make paper. I suppose part of the reason for that is it's such a big, fast-growing tree. They need lots of light to grow, so they're quick to take over after landslides or volcanoes open some space for them. They can reach 40 metres (130 ft) tall within 25 years and add another 20 m (65 ft) before they're done.

Image: Forest and Kim Starr
Oh, and they do have flowers! Which duly pale in comparison to the bark.


Much thanks to Kitty for suggesting this one! I had no idea such a thing existed!


TexWisGirl said...

oh, WOW!!! i love these!!!

Joseph JG said...

Amazing aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show that nature invented art first! Thanks for the post.

Daniel Berke said...

As someone who grew up in a large grove of eucalyptus trees (not this particular species though), they are near and dear to my heart. Although they have their dangerous downsides and aren't exactly pretty trees (for the most part), they have a charm all their own.

And yeah, the flowers are definitely nothing to write home about -- though their nectar makes what is widely considered to be among the most delicious honey!

Joseph JG said...

@Jared Armes: So true!

@Daniel: That's lovely! I know so little about trees and even less about honey. When it comes to trees I mainly just like the old, craggy ones. Lots of character!