“Let’s Rainbow This Eucalyptus!” shouted my husband from a bunch of colorful bushes as I watched him disappear into a sea of shrubbery! This is what he was referring to:
The bark of this beautiful rainbow eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus deglupta) is essentially a natural kaleidoscope that will eventually display every color of the rainbow, hence its highly appropriate name. The image above, taken about 2 years ago on my honeymoon trip to Kauai, Hawaii, features a tree that is just starting to mature, therefore the colors are not as vibrant as they will become with time.
According to Andrew P. Han, writing for Science Friday,
“While most eucalyptus species are native to Australia, where the climate is drier, the rainbow eucalyptus is indigenous to the lush forests of Indonesia and the Philippines. It’s also been introduced to places such as Southern California and Hawaii, as well as South Florida, as an ornamental tree. ‘It likes wet feet and a more humid climate,’ says Lorence. Alternately known as the Mindanao gum, the rainbow eucalyptus grows fast—more than three feet per year—and can reach heights of more than 240 feet. Its small white flowers are packed with nectar, making it a good source for honey.”
Interestingly enough, although we associate Hawaii with exotic flowers and unusual plants, many of its characteristic vegetation was accidentally brought there by the fist Polynesian migrants and, of course, the wind.
A friend just texted me from Hawaii to inform me that indeed, Kauai is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. “Aha!” I confirmed. And the reason for that is simple, it has so much mind blowing beauty that its hard to believe the things you’re looking at are real.