For the 50+ Traveler

There are beautiful, photograph-worthy trees all over the world, but the rainbow eucalyptus trees are an unbelievable product of nature that you have to see to believe.

While some trees are impressively tall or wide, some are, instead, a brightly colored turquoise blue. These surprisingly colorful natural wonders are rainbow eucalyptus trees, an incredibly fragrant tree with a bright, colorful trunk. This beautiful visual is a breathtaking sight, sure to stand out as the highlight of any vacation.

Rainbow eucalyptus trees in Maui, Hawaii.

What Are These Trees?

Eucalyptus deglupta, known by their common name, rainbow eucalyptus trees, have colorful, striped trunks, as though their design were created by an abstract artist. The bark on these trees is uniquely thin, causing frequent shedding, resulting in tall and thin mismatched stripes all up and down the trunk. When the bark from previous seasons falls off, a new, different colored bark is exposed.

The newly exposed bark is initially a bright turquoise shade, but as air and sunlight react with it, the color begins to shift. This natural reaction results in a stunning color palette, everything from blue and purple to red, orange, and pink. The tree sheds sporadically, meaning its spectacular colors and designs never repeat. Each tree is unique -- both from the other, surrounding trees, as well as its own past “designs.”

A rainbow eucalyptus tree in Hawaii.

Where Are They Found?

This natural wonder is native to the tropical forests of the Philippines and Indonesia and is the only form of eucalyptus native to the Northern Hemisphere. The tree is valued for both its beauty as well as its functionality, serving as a primary resource in paper-making, particularly in the Philippines. The tree is an incredibly fast grower, averaging six feet in a single year. All of these qualities make the rainbow eucalyptus trees an incredibly attractive botanical option throughout the world, so the plant has been introduced to ecosystems in other countries beyond the Philippines.

Looking up the trunk of a rainbow eucalyptus tree.

These trees require full sunlight and incredibly moist soil, limiting which areas are capable of hosting them. In the United States, the areas with climates that are conducive to the growth of these trees are Hawaii, Southern California, Texas, and Florida. When planted outside of its native range, the colors are slightly less vibrant and the tree about half the height. However, the trees are still an incredible display, worthy of any tourist's visit.

Rainbow eucalyptus trees in Hawaii.

Where Can I See Them In The U.S.?

Maui, specifically, prides itself on its rainbow eucalyptus trees, offering amazing guided tours and opportunities to see the trees up close on the Road to Hana. There is even a zipline course that weaves throughout the colorful trees.

San Diego is another city with opportunities to view the colorful trees. They populate the entire city, appearing in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and parts of Mission Bay. Another option is Florida’s West Palm Beach, which is home to the Mounts Botanical Gardens, where the trees feature prominently.

A rainbow eucalyptus tree in Kauai, Hawaii.

Rainbow eucalyptus trees are such a stunning natural creation that, no matter which city you choose to view them in, they will take any tourist’s breath away. There is nothing like these striped, colorful tree trunks, created completely by nature.

Destinations Highlighted In This Article: