Brachychiton - - Semi-mature and mature Brachychiton populneus

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Brachychiton populneus - Kurrajong

 

Family:

Malvaceae

Origins:

Wet coastal areas through to dry out-reaches of the eastern states of Australia.

Plant Type:

Evergreen tree becoming semi deciduous in colder a

Size:

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

Habit/ Form:

Erect tree with a clear straight trunk, dome shaped crown.

Leaves:

The leaves are very unusual having many varying styles. They vary from simple and pointed to a 3 - 9 lobed palmate leaf.

Flowers:

Small bell shape flowers that may vary in colour from white to pale pink through to deep reds.

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:

Grows fairly fast when young. 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.

Hardiness:

Tolerates snow and temperatures cold down to – 5°C. 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.

 

 

© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.

 

 

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