Eucalyptus deglupta is a tall tree, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus, Mindanao gum, or rainbow gum. It is native to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines, and is the only Eucalyptus species with a natural range that extends into the northern hemisphere. It is characterized by multi-colored bark featuring hues of blue, purple, orange and maroon. It thrives in rich, medium to wet soil in full sun and is intolerant of frost.
|View of multi-coloured bark|
E. deglupta is also known as the Mindanao gum tree, named after the island of Mindanao in the Philippines to which the tree is native. Gum trees are a group of eucalyptus trees that are characterized by their smooth bark that periodically sheds. E. deglupta are commonly planted as ornamental trees in frost-free climates such as Hawaii, Southern California, Texas, and Louisiana.
E. deglupta features evergreen foliage and flowers once a year. Flowering may occur within the 1st year but usually begins after 2 years and continues annually. The tree produces white flowers with moderately wide leaves. The flower buds contain stamens and pistil and are usually pollinated via bee. After fertilization, the flower capsule becomes a woody fruit, known as a gum nut, which contains the seeds. Plants can be grown from cuttings of trees younger than 5 years old. Once a tree reaches 5 years of age, root inhibition prevent the generation of roots from cuttings.
The unique multi-hued bark is the most distinctive feature of the tree. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray. The colours of the bark are not as intense outside the tree's native range.
- "UFEI - SelecTree: A Tree Selection Guide". selectree.calpoly.edu. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
- "Rainbow Gums". Double Helix. CSIRO. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
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- Davidson, John (1973). "Reproduction of Eucalyptus deglupta by cuttings" (PDF). New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science. 4: 191–204.
- In botanical gardens such as Fairchild Botanical Gardens in Florida the tree does show the intense color range as see in the tree's normal range. Garner, LariAnn. "Under the Rainbow" (pdf). Retrieved 2007-01-10.
- David Webster Lee (2007). Nature's palette: the science of plant color. University of Chicago Press. p. 228. ISBN 9780226471051. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- "Notes on Eucalyptus" (PDF). National Resources Institute. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
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