Rainbow Eucalyptus
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Rainbow Eucalyptus
ntroduced Photo: Amit Kumar
Common name: Rainbow Eucalyptus, Mindanao Gum, Rainbow Gum
Botanical name: Eucalyptus deglupta    Family: Myrtaceae (Bottlebrush family)

Rainbow Eucalyptus is the only Eucalyptus species found naturally in the Northern Hemisphere. Its natural distribution spans New Britain, New Guinea, Ceram, Sulawesi and Mindanao. Now, this tree is cultivated widely around the world, mainly for pulpwood used in making paper. It is the dominant species used for pulpwood plantations in the Philippines. This tree is also grown for ornamental purposes, due to the showy multi-colored streaks that cover the trunk. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing the bright-green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. Juvenile leaves are opposite, ovate to lanceshaped. Adult leaves are almost opposite, rarely alternate, shortly stalked, held almost horizontal on branches, ovate to ovate-lanceshaped or acuminate, thicker than juvenile leaves, 7.5-15 (max. 20) x 5-7.5 (max. 10) cm. Flowers 3-7 umbels in terminal or axillary panicles 5-20 x 5-18 cm. Flower-stalks are round or slightly angular, about 5 mm long. Young buds are small, green with double opercula. Developed buds are pale green or cream, globular, apiculate, 0.2-0.4 x 0.2-0.5 mm, operculum hemispherical, apiculate and wider than long; flowers with many white to pale yellow stamens 2-10 mm long, strongly reflexed in the unopened bud. Fruit are pedicallate, hemispherical, with 3-4 valves, thin, deltoid, exserted to 2 mm, making the capsule appear globular, 3-5 x 3-5 mm, and disc very narrow; mature fruits brown to dark brown, containing 3-12 well-formed seeds per valve; seeds minute, brown, flattened, with a small terminal wing.

Identification credit: Amit Kumar
Photographed in Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.
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