|Bottle Tree, Brachychiton populneus,|
Sun City, Arizona. February 15, 2006.
|Bottle Tree Flowers.||Bottle Tree Flowers.|
|Bottle Tree Leaves.||Bottle Tree Leaf.|
|Bottle Tree Seed Pods.||Bottle Tree Seed Pods.|
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The Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus) is a small to medium sized tree found naturally in Australia in a diversity of habitats from wetter coastal districts to semi-arid interiors of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Brachychiton populneus is a relatively slow growing tree that sometimes becomes semi-deciduous during early summer. It has a pyramidal shape when young. As it ages its overall shape is narrow growing wider with age. It has very dense foliage.
When young the base of the trunk has a bottle shape, thus the name.
It is often planted as an ornamental plant throughout many parts of urban Australia, and in cleared rural areas it has often been retained for its foliage as it has value as a fodder reserve for stock during droughts.
The seeds were used as a traditional food source for Australian Aborigines.
It has a dark brown hard woody seed pod about 3 - 4 inches by 1 inch, containing round yellow seeds; the hairs on the seed will cause itching. The hairs have been used as itching powder.
The seeds drop out by January leaving an interesting boat shaped brown pod. Some people collect the pods and paint them for Christmas ornaments.
This is an old time landscaping plant in Arizona.
Attractive to honeybees.
Height: 35 to 60 feet tall. Spread may reach 30+ feet.
Flowers: White or cream with a bell shapes. The inner flower tube is streaked purple - brown to pink.
Flowering Time: April - May.
Leaves: Simple; often lancolate with a large variation of margin type, sometimes lobed; 2 - 3 inches long; glossy green in color.
Stems/Trunks: The trunk tapers like a bottle, wider at base, most obvious when young, losing bottle shape when older. The extended trunk is a water storage device for survival in a warm dry climate. Can reach 6 to 8 feet in diameter.
Soil pH requirements:
Elevation: Can be found growing from 0 - 2,000 feet in Arizona.
Habitat: In native Australia it occurs in a wide range of habitats and soils, from deep sandy loams on plains, to rocky soils on rocky hilltops.
Miscellaneous: Flowering Photos Taken May 10, 2006. Arrowhead Ranch, Glendale, Arizona.
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