Monday, February 6, 2012

Rainbow Eucalyptus

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:

14 comments:

Stone Art's Blog said...

I think this is one of the coolest trees I have ever seen.

GILLIAN WARE said...

Thanks Stone Art- it's always good when someone understands what ones going on about!

Jan Johnsen said...

breathtaking! gorgeous. and of course Stone Art agrees.
I am going to LA in a few weeks and I now will make that pilgrimage to Huntington to see them...THANK YOU for this.

GILLIAN WARE said...

Thanks Jan- yes, the Huntington is quite wonderful and there is the one Rainbow Eucalyptus there- though the trees shown above are at UCLA opposite the Mildred E Mathias garden, should you be near there...

Robbi N. said...

Beautiful! Looks like I'll have to put the Huntington on my bucket list.
I love the protuberances that look like navels on some of the trees too!

PatioPatch said...

you've captured the art and craft of a glorious tree. Thanks for sharing - new one on me

GILLIAN WARE said...

Thanks for dropping in Robbi N and PatioPatch- that's what blogging's all about, the enjoyment of sharing...

Notjustnat said...

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful 'rainbow eucalyptus' tree. I live in Australia and adore eucalyptus trees and use many parts of the tree for eco-dyeing. BUT I have never seen this tree anywhere near where I live. I will be looking out for them on my walks from now on. If you love trees, you might like the French film 'The Tree' http://www.thetreefilm.com/Reviews
it won 7 AFI Awards. I haven't seen it yet, but I happened to have the DVD in my hand right now that I thought you might like. Thanks again for sharing the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree with us - hugs
Nat

Lynda Howells said...

wow...never seen this type before amazing..how does the bark dye?xxlynda

GILLIAN WARE said...

Thanks for your comments, Notjustnat and Lynda Howells- so interesting that you are both dyers and use Eucalyptus' for your dyes. Really enjoyed both your blogs...

GILLIAN WARE said...

Notjustnat, thank you for telling me about "The Tree" film, which I will certainly look out for.

iNd!@nA said...

lovely images here...as to the number of varieties i think latest estimates have the eucalypts at 1000+ species and subspecies.
if you scroll down this page
http://www.indiaflint.com/page5.htm
there are some images of
Eucalyptus gillii
you might like

GILLIAN WARE said...

Thanks so much ind!@nA- especially for your link which I really enjoyed. I find it fascinating that these wonderful trees have a whole other purpose- especially when Eucalyptus Gillii seems to be named after me, even if it was really Walter Gill...!

goatsfoot said...

Wow, these pictures are SPECTACULAR! Well done! I came across one recently, and searched for more info, sadly the one I found was nowhere near as gorgeous. The tree is native to Papua New Guinea so it is no surprise us Australians don't come across it often (mine is in the Darwin Botanic Gardens).