Brachychiton - - Semi-mature and mature Brachychiton rupestris

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Brachychiton rupestris - Queensland Bottle Tree

 

Family:

Malvaceae

Origins:

Queensland

Plant Type:

Evergreen tree becoming semi deciduous in drought or in colder areas.

Size:

18-20m x 10m (may vary depending on location and environment)

Habit/ Form:

Leaves:

The leaves are very unusual and are variable from narrow and elliptic to deeply divided

Flowers:

Clusters of yellowy bell shaped flowers are hidden within the foliage, and are followed by woody boat-shaped fruits

Fruit:

Seeds are borne within woody, boat-shaped Pods 5 -7 cm long. They contain sharp fiberglass like hairs which may severely irrigate skin and eyes.

Bark / Trunk:

Straight clear trunk that may become robust in drier areas as it stores water in case of drought.

Vigour / Longevity:

Slow growing and bottle shape appears after 15 years. Depending on availability of water, the tree may live to over 80 – 100 years, even older in some situations.

Environmental Requirements:

Full sun to semi shade, tolerates exposed sites. Suited to temperate subtropical and tropical climates

Hardiness:

Drought tolerant and moderately damp areas but not prolonged inundation.

Soil / Drainage:

Well-drained soil is preferable. They will grow in heavier soils, but not heavy clays.

Pruning:

Prune to shape.

Watering:

Tolerant of dry periods. Over watering should be avoided.

Fertilising:

Slow release fertilizer is recommended.

Pests / Diseases:

Borer when young and canker.

Uses:

The ability to tolerate extreme conditions makes it popular as a street tree in dry areas; also used in many native gardens as a feature tree. The Aboriginals used this tree for many purposes from the leaves to the edible seed and even the bark, during droughts farmers have used the tree for fodder.

 

 

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