I fell in love with the Eucalyptus deglupta tree when I first came across one in Los Angeles' Huntington Botanical Gardens several years ago (and later used its bark as my logo on both my business card and website). Apart from being a magic tree, it has two magic common names: Rainbow Eucalyptus and Painted Bark Eucalyptus, both descriptive of it's multicoloured bark. Like other Eucalyptus' it sheds its bark- but in this case the lower layer is a vivid green. As different layers mature, they change colour- to orange, purples and blues, dark maroon being the final colour- resulting in fantastic paint brushstroke-like streaks.
A week ago I was reminded of them when reading up about the different varieties of Eucalyptus (of which there are 734!) and immediately longed to go to Hawaii where there are some spectacular examples of these painted trees. This being out of the question, I Googled to find some nearer to me than the one in the Huntington Gardens. I tracked down a row of them at UCLA opposite the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, which I had never visited. Fortunately a Big Blue Bus took me virtually from door to door. These particular trees are comparatively small- as they can grow up to over 200ft with a trunk girth of 8ft- but I was enchanted by them and had a wonderful, happy time examining and photographing them. Here are some of the results:
Not only are the colours and patterns of the bark engrossing, but so are the sometimes almost human or animal and sometimes bone-like shapes of their limbs:
I find these protuberances that look as if they have been woodturned on a lathe quite wonderful:
I will conclude with some brush strokes of colour: