Rainbow Eucalyptus: The Most Beautiful Tree in the World

Rainbow Eucalyptus: The Most Beautiful Tree in the World



When an Australian botanist saw a rainbow eucalyptus tree for the first time, he thought someone had painted the bark … but he soon discovered it was Mother Nature.

Rainbow eucalyptus planted in Hawaii. Credit: Gerold Grotelueschen/Alamy

Native to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines, the rainbow eucalyptus is one of only 4 eucalyptus species (out of 700 total) not found in Australia.

The tree prefers the wetter, warmer climate of South-East Asian rainforests.

“You could easily compare the colors to what you’d see in your average four-pack of assorted highlighters,” Australian Geographic reports.

Rainbow eucalyptus in Thailand. Credit: Siegfried Grassegger/Alarmy


As the tree sheds its bark, it exposes different colors over time.

When a piece of bark is peeled or falls off, the section of trunk underneath is “bright green when first exposed, and then turns to red, orange and purple tones and then back to brown as the bark matures,” explains Brett Summerell, chief botanist at Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

“This process isn’t unusual– the forest red gum, spotted gum and others do it too – it’s just that the color changes are way outside the norm seen for eucalyptus.”


Brett and his team have successfully planted a rainbow eucalyptus in Australia, but he says the bark colors are not as pronounced outside its natural habitat.



Unfortunately, its natural habitat (South-East Asia) is being threatened by logging and use for firewood.

Credit: Filip Kulisev, AmazingPlanet.com


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