Zee Media Bureau/Liji Varghese
Art imitates life, and with it myriad hues the rainbow eucalyptus tree is definitely not a handiwork of an abstract artist, but Mother Nature herself.
Also known as Eucalyptus deglupta, Mindanao gum or rainbow gum, these trees don`t have the same fragrant aroma that characterizes other Eucalypts, but then the multi-hued barks make up for the lack of it.
The multi-coloured streaks on the trunk are produced as the tree sheds it patches of bark sporadically throughout the year. The initially undergrowth is bright green in colour and slowly as it matures the colours shift to blue, purple, orange and maroon.
An evergreen tree, it grows upto 8 feet a year, reaching a height of 60 – 75 meters with a diameter of 240 centimeters.
The tree is mainly grown for pulpwood used in making paper. It is also cultivated as an ornamental tree.
Comparatively a new entrant to the plantation species- the earliest introductions being from Philippines around 1918 and 1926 – this unique Eucalyptus species grows best in wet tropics. These trees are found naturally in the Northern Hemisphere and its distribution spans Indonesia and South East Asia.
Image courtesy: www.lovethesepics.com