Illawarra Flame Tree
Scientific Name: Brachychiton acerifolius A.Cunn. ex F.J.Muell.
Synonym: Sterculia acerifolia
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Stamp picture courtesy of Australian National Botanic Gardens
Recommended Temperature Zone:|
Frost Tolerance: hardy to 25°F (-4°C) for short periods
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Origin: Australia (east coast from New South Wales to Queensland)
Growth Habits: Tall decidous or semievergreen tree, generally 33 to 50 feet tall (10-15 m) in cultivation, up to 100 feet tall (30m) or more in the wild; large bright green leaves with 3 to 7 lobes; juvenile leaves are more entire
Watering Needs: No water when established
Propagation: Seeds, grafting on other Brachychiton species
The species epithet 'acerifolius' comes from the Latin for 'maple-leaved'.
The small but spectacular crimson, bell-shaped, scented flowers occur in clusters at the ends of the branches, in late spring to early summer when the tree is leafless (May and June in Phoenix).
Dehiscent, blackish, leathery, seed capsules which contain many corn-like yellow seeds. The capsule contains irritant, glochid-like, hairs and should by handled wearing gloves.