(Photo above taken by Kelly Hayes.)
I just gotta give a shout-out to this gorgeous tree.
The only eucalyptus species that is endemic to the Northern Hemisphere, the rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) is beloved by landscape designers for its unique multicolored bark.
The inner bark is bright green — as it matures, it darkens into a dazzling spectrum of blue, purple, orange and then maroon colors. As patches of the outer bark shed irregularly throughout the year, splashes of bright color reveal themselves across the trunk, creating palettes that can border on the psychedelic!
As always, click the pics to embiggen.
^ Photo by Jimmy Gekas
^ Photo by Megan Matsumoto
Unfortunately, the tree thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, so most of us in the US will have to admire it from afar. Many United Statesians have their first experience with these trees while visiting Hawaii. According to eucalyptusdeglupta.com,
… the tree is a humid tropical grower and as such can be grown outdoors only in south and coastal central Florida. Some people have grown this tree successfully in southern Texas and southern California, but extra care and diligence is required. All other locations may result in winter death of the tree outdoors. This tree has been reported to withstand light frosts but cannot survive a hard freeze.
Ok, but… what about that other eucalyptus?
Interestingly, the rainbow tree does not produce the aromatic oils that we’re familiar with from the other Eucalypts. Essential oil made from eucalyptus leaves has been used for millenia and is cultivated worldwide for its aroma and many beneficial properties. It’s analgesic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal (that means it helps prevent excess mucus buildup), anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. It’s an expectorant and can repel insects. It can be used for many kinds of respiratory system support — use it during asthma attacks, colds, bronchitis infections, seasonal allergy attacks and more.
MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS USE THERAPEUTIC-GRADE ESSENTIAL OILS. This will help ensure the purity of your product, since oils of this quality are usually third-party tested and properly extracted from plants grown indigenously without pesticides.
Here’s a few ideas for incorporating eucalyptus oil into your daily practice, courtesy of the folks at Aura Cacia: