Nature is pretty magical, but if you need a reminder, you really need to check out these rainbow trees. Yes, they exist, and they’re as gorgeous as you’d imagine.
Before you start thinking a rainbow tree is some sort of art project or a leftover prop from the filming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, these massive colorful trees are real. While people might call them just “rainbow trees,” they’re technically a unique type of eucalyptus tree—eucalyptus degluptato.
The bark of the plants’ trunks features multi-colored pastels that are revealed as it sheds its outer layer throughout the seasons. Because the exterior of the trunk is constantly in a state of peeling, new colors—mostly green at first—appear in various patterns around the trunk and larger limbs. Describing it can’t really do it justice though, so check out the video below to see.
While the initial layer might be the most verdant, the bark begins to age once exposed to oxygen, switching its color over time. The green of the initial peel will continue to deepen into blues, oranges, yellows, and eventually, the deepest shade, maroon. The mix of differently aged bark is what gives the tree its rainbow appearance.
According to Better Homes & Gardens, the trees are able to survive in tropical environments only, which might have you thinking you’re out of luck for seeing them in the United States, but that’s not true. You can get a glimpse of the rainbow trees in both Florida and Hawaii.
Next time you’re planning a trip, maybe take a look at seeing the wild grove along the Hana Highway in Hawaii. You can even see them at Ke’anae Arboretum, Wahiawa Botanical Gardens, and the Honolulu Zoo if you want to head offshore of the continental states. As for Florida, the trees call Port St. Lucie’s Botanical Gardens, St. Petersburg’s Sunken Gardens, and Palm Beach County’s Mounts Botanical Gardens home.
Although you might not be able to grow these beauties in your own backyard, you can still get the chance to see an actual rainbow tree in real life.