Many of you in Land O Lakes have had to deal with standing water after the summer rains, or worse, flooding. So here's a landscape idea that fits right in if you have the space.
Eucalyptus deglupta: Rainbow Eucalyptus
It looks like part of a rain forest -- or a Monet painting -- I'm not sure which!
Rainbow Eucalyptus is the only eucalyptus native to the northern hemisphere. It does not have the powerful fragrance of the traditional eucalyptus, but it does have some fragrance.
And as a maturing tree, it has a most unusual trunk color as the bark peels to reveal a rainbow of colors inside: oranges, maroons, blues, sunset pinks and pastel greens!
Rainbow Eucalyptus requires consistently moist soil -- perfect for our wet summers! Then after a good amount of water, the trunk swells and then the bark peels, revealing the dazzling color display: much like a rainbow after a severe thunderstorm.
Loves sun, humidity, and lots of water. (Contrary to some online sources, it does not tolerate drought very well.) Would do well in low lying areas. Does well with rich composted soil.
Expect it to grow to about 40'-45' tall in FL, although it is approx 60-80' in the tropics. It loves full sun; is cold tolerant to 26 degrees -- maybe a little lower once established according to some sources -- if not a prolonged hard freeze;
This is a really big tree when mature: so be sure to plant a minimum of 40' from a building or other large trees.
Requires somewhat acidic soil: 5.6-6.0 pH
The color show happens when the tree is big enough to have bark to peel.
Want A Rainbow Eucalyptus in your yard?
We sometimes have these in 3gal size in our nursery, or can special order within 2-6 wks. Contact us for availability or other sizes.
photo above courtesy of Wikipedia:
"A grove of rainbow eucalyptus trees, growing along the hana highway.
Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta)
photo from Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/amelia525/303048913/) by *amelia*
and published under the creative commons license found here.