We all know that nature is capable to create pretty amazing things, but usually bright, vivid spectrum of colors is thought to always be artificially-made. There’s a reason that earth tones have that name after all. But in some really humid climates, you can find the rainbow eucalyptus tree — nature’s color-happy artist that uses its bark as its canvas.
As the outer layer of the rainbow eucalyptus tree’s bark peels away, the bright green layer underneath begins to show. Over time, it fades to a darker green, and then to blue, purple, pink, orange, red, maroon, and back to brown. When it reaches that point, it will peel again and start the process anew. Since different layers peel at different times on different parts of the tree, the result is a tree trunk and branches that look like they’ve been painted with hundreds of brushstrokes of just about every color of the rainbow. Rather than a naturally grown tree, the rainbow eucalyptus looks more like a Gaudí sculpture, with its bright mosaic of colors.
The rainbow eucalyptus is native to the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia, and is grown in other tropical environments that are similarly mild and humid. Unfortunately, it cannot survive hot and dry weather or frosty conditions, and can only be grown in specific regions near the equator that will sustain this type of tree. It is commonly planted in parks and gardens in countries that can grow it. This natural beauty can also be found lining the Hana highway in Maui, Hawaii, and in swampy areas of Africa, where it was planted to soak up much of the water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there and spreading malaria.
Not only it is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but the rainbow eucalyptus also has many uses apart from landscape design and malaria prevention. It is commonly used in paper making, although the paper turns out to be white, not rainbow. The wood can also be used for ornamental purposes, such as furniture and cabinets. When chopped down and crafted in such a way, the bright hues disappear, but the wood still shows various shades of brown and green. Great care must be taken in this process, because the wood must be dried very slowly in order to prevent cracking.
With its appearance constantly changing and its colors brightly shining, the rainbow eucalyptus certainly is a marvel of nature.