Rainbow Eucalyptus, E. deglupta, Rainbow-Tree seeds
Rainbowtree Eucalyptus seeds
The Eucalyptus deglupta is a fantastically striking tall tree, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus due to its amazing multi-coloured bark. It has also been called various other names including Mindanao gum and rainbow gum. The word deglupta is derived from the latin word degluptere which means to peel or peeling skin and eucalyptus is derived from eu which in greek means well, and calyptus which means covered, meaning together the eucalyptus provides good cover.
This is certainly true of the rainbow eucalyptus, which starts off life as a tiny seed produced from a delicate white flower. Beginning with a small green bud with a dark cap, clustered at the end of the twigs on the branches, a delicate white flower erupts at a number of different times of the year, depending on the habitat the tree is growing in. Once fertilised the flowers produce seeds, which are dispersed by the wind or fall to the ground where they start to grow if conditions are right.
Once established, the rainbow eucalyptus is a fast growing evergreen tree, meaning it will provide cover and shade all year round. It produces broad green leaves, around six inches long, which provide a pleasing aroma when crushed. Unlike other eucalyptus trees it does not produce the same aromatic scent from its bark and is the only species of eucalyptus not to do so. When the tree has matured from the tiny seed, it starts producing buds and eventually blossom, that once fertilised produces tiny seeds that are no bigger than ants.
The rainbow eucalyptus changes its bark continually during the year. The old bark peels off and drops to the ground, underneath the stunningly multicoloured new bark is revealed. The bark colour ranges from bright green and yellow to orange, purple and grey. The colours mix and overlap producing a glorious rainbow effect, which is what gives the eucalyptus deglupta it's colloquial name of rainbow eucalyptus. Caution is needed though, as when grown outside the natural habitat the colours produced are not as vibrant or vivid as those produced by naturally occurring trees. The trees rely on both the climate and the naturally occurring resources to produce the depth and range of colours seen in most examples of the rainbow eucalyptus. On a fully grown tree the effect of all the different bark colours together results in a magnificent display of what nature can produce, all from a seed smaller than the size of an ant.
When fully grown, the rainbow eucalyptus can grow very large. Trees in their natural habitat can grow as large as sixty meters or two hundred and fifty feet in height. Trees this large also have a wide girth, typically two and a half metres or eight feet in diameter. When grown outside their natural habitat, however, the trees growth is stunted due to not being grown in ideal conditions. For instance, rainbow eucalyptus grown in the continental U.S. only reach a height of around one hundred to one hundred and twenty five feet, around thirty metres. Again, caution is needed when planting these in urban settings as the root systems have been know to undermine house foundations and rip up pathways and roads. They are most naturally suited to open spaces such as parks or recreation ground.
The rainbow eucalyptus is the only member of the eucalyptus family to be indigenous to the northern hemisphere, being native to the Philippines and across the Papuasia region. Once the rainbow eucalyptus starts to grow it can add up to a meter in height per season. Beware though, as growing these trees outside of their naturally tropical habitat can be tricky, as they need plenty of water and sun, and cannot survive more than the most gentle of frosts.
Typically, the rainbow eucalyptus has a number of uses. Being a fairly fast growing variety of tree it lends itself to the production of hardwood timber and the production of pulp, both of which are suitable for light and heavy construction. The wood has been used in diverse industries such as boat building, furniture making, and flooring. The other main use for rainbow eucalyptus is as an ornamental tree, an obvious use due to its unique colouring. Outside of these functions, the rainbow eucalyptus is also sometimes used for land reclamation and reforestation, and even as a shade tree in Costa Rican coffee plantations. The rainbow eucalyptus is also cultivated as ornamental plant because of its colorful trunk. In its native country the wood of the rainbow eucalyptus is used. Eucalyptus deglupta grows quite fast, that makes it a good tree for timber production.
The seeds of the rainbow eucalyptus need light to germinate. They should just be pressed into the substrate. In the constantly moist substrate Eucalyptus deglupta germinates at a temperature of 23°C after just 1 to 3 weeks.