Brachychiton acerifolius

Brachychiton acerifolius

Brachychiton acerifolius Illawarra Flame Tree
Brachychiton acerifolius Illawarra Flame Tree Genus:
 Brachychiton

Species: acerifolius

Family: MALVACEAE

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.

Seed pod Brachychiton acerifolius Illawarra Flame Tree

Sources of Information:

  • Own Photography.
  • Own TAFE Horticultural Notes.
About Simon 93 Articles

Simon Schubert is a qualified Horticulturist who enjoys gardening and bush-walking. He has a keen interest in science, the natural world and particularly our environment. He would like to share his experiences and knowledge while learning better practices that will hopefully benefit the future for us all. Please join him on some fun adventures while learning about the life of plants and other interesting facts about our world.

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