Etymology: Greek ‘brachys’ means short and ‘chiton’ means a coat or tunic, a reference to the coating on the seed. acerifolius: refers to likeness to the genus Acer – the maple.
Common Name: Illawarra Flame Tree.
Origin: Coastal slopes from Illawarra region to Cape York Peninsula (Eastern Australia).
Description: an upright tree 10-15m. Variable – may be deciduous, semi-deciduous or evergreen. Usually deciduous on flowering branches. Single trunk with conical shape.
Foliage: Simple, alternative with extremely variable shape. May be long lanceolate or palmate with 3, 5 or 7 lobes. Glabrous, glossy bright green. May lose colour in autumn.
Flowers: Terminal or axillary panicles to 30cm. Bright scarlet pedicels. Flowers early summer but can be variable.
Fruit: A cluster of boat shaped follicles from 70-100cm long.
Trunk/Bark: May remain green when juvenile, developing into smooth grey.
Growth Requirements: Flowers best in full sun. Tolerant of sandy or clay soils but performs best in well drained fertile soils.
Uses: Street tree, Australian native gardens, beautiful colour contrast to other early summer flowering trees (root system may block drains).
Propagation: Grows from seed, expect variations. Often grafted for best results and guaranteed flower quality.
Sources of Information:
- Own Photography.
- Own TAFE Horticultural Notes.