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Awesome Facts About the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree

There’s this saying that “at the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold,” and while this may not be literally true for the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree, I think these colourful local trees evoke a certain kind of warmth that is just as valuable!

Its scientific name is Eucalyptus deglupta, and it’s native to most countries in Southeast Asia (including Singapore). It’s more than just tall flora though, as it has several awesome things going for it which you can read below!

1. It symbolises resilience


We Singaporeans are a hardy bunch and despite the challenges of the modern world, we bounce back and thrive along with our Southeast Asian neighbours. The rainbow eucalyptus tree, for us, symbolises the strong resilience of our people.

You see, despite the deforestation and the natural calamities in and around the country, this tree was able to regenerate and come back stronger than ever. 

2. It has a colourful peeling bark


The rainbow eucalyptus is aptly named as such, as anyone who has ever seen one knows that it gives off a wonderful colour show thanks to its ever-peeling bark.

During my visit to one of the local parks, I saw a rainbow eucalyptus tree display colours ranging from maroon, orange, purple, blue, and green. I imagine these colours will change as the barks peel off in the coming days—a spectacular display indeed.

Plus, newly peeled barks will have lighter colours and will slightly darken as they mature. To me, it’s no longer surprising that this tree is referred to as the pride of the tropics thanks to its ever-changing beauty!

3. It’s the tallest in the family


If I could describe this tree, I would probably use the phrase “tower of (colour) power!” It’s a thing of beauty, but its height is also quite impressive, reaching heights of up to 76 metres or 250 feet tall.

In fact, it’s considered to be the tallest among eucalyptus trees considering that an average one will only grow up to about 98 feet. It comes as no surprise to us locals that most of the trees towering our rainforests are rainbow eucalyptus.

4. It can grow quite fast


Aside from standing out from the other trees in Singapore (and many parts of the globe) thanks to its colourful bark and impressive height, the rainbow eucalyptus tree can grow quite fast. It’s reported that it can grow up to 2 metres (6 feet) per year!

If given the chance to grow without any hindrance, these trees are expected to reach their full height after around 3 to 5 years. At this rate, it’s considered to be one of the fastest-growing trees in the entire world, and we’re glad to have it here in Singapore!

5. Southeast Asia is its home


Aside from Singapore, the rainbow eucalyptus tree can also be found in different countries around Southeast Asia. These include countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

What do these countries (and Singapore) have in common? Well, all of these countries have tropical climates (meaning they are humid and warm all year round) allowing these majestic trees to thrive and grow into the beauties they are.

6. It has special properties


The colourful bark of the rainbow eucalyptus is also prized for its timber which is commonly used for flooring, furniture, and various construction projects. Fortunately, sustainable practices have been established for the tree’s preservation.

Aside from timber, the bark of the tree has been shown to fend off harmful fungi and pests and withstand extreme weather conditions due to tannins. These tannins offer a natural defence ensuring the survival of the trees in diverse ecosystems.

6. Diverse wildlife call it home


The tree is more than just a colour bonanza out in the wilds, as it is considered home by various wildlife. These include small mammals, birds, and insects. Removing the rainbow eucalyptus from the ecosystem can be detrimental.

Birds use the trees’ leaves for their nests while the trees’ strong roots help in soil stabilisation, aiding in the prevention of erosion and ensuring the integrity of the forest’s ecosystem as a whole. 

7. It has medicinal properties


While I have not personally purchased rainbow eucalyptus medication from a regular pharmacy, alternative medicine uses its leaves to cure various conditions like skin infections, colds, and coughs.

The tree also has oils that can be used for a soothing massage to relieve tension from your muscles. During my next massage session, I’ll probably ask the masseuse to use this specific oil so I can experience it firsthand!

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