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Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

Brachychiton acerifolius

Brachychiton acerifolius
Brachychiton acerifolius
Brachychiton acerifolius

There are two independent contributors for today's photographs. In an intriguing coincidence, both took photographs of this plant at Ganna Walska Lotusland in July of last year! Thank you to Mike Bush, the executive director of Lotusland, for photographs 2 and 3 and “yousatonmycactus”@UBC Botanical Garden Forums (aka Guy Webb) of Ventura, California for the first image. Guy is one of the kind docents at Lotusland and has also shared a more images of the plant in this thread. Thanks to both of you for helping to continue the series on Australian plants – more to come!

If you're visiting Lotusland (follow the instructions on their web site re: booking a tour), Mike notes that this plant “is growing in our Visitor Entry area, next to the Parking Lot. Planted in 1993 the tree is now about 25 feet tall and is covered with flowers in mid-July when it is nearly leafless.

Illawara flame tree is native to the coastal forests of eastern Australia, ranging from the tropical rainforests of Queensland south to the (more) temperate forests of New South Wales. Like the Dombeya from over a week ago, it is a member of the mallow family (or Malvaceae), though much literature will instead state it belongs to the Sterculiaceae, as Michael F noted in the comments on that entry. The Malvaceae Info web site delves deep into the reclassification of the Malvaceae and (former) allied families, if you'd like to read more.

The Malvaceae Info web site also provides an illustration of why this plant has the epithet acerifolius, or “leaves of Acer (maple)” in its photo gallery of the genus Brachychiton.

For more reading about the Illawara flame tree, please visit the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants' page on Brachychiton acerifolius or Wikipedia. Dias com árvores also has an entry on Brachychiton acerifolius – if you don't understand Portuguese, you can still appreciate the photography.

9 Comments

Guy Webb commented:

Speaking of convergent evolution...

I am honored to share today's photo credits with Lotusland's Executive Director, Mike Bush. We may have been standing in the exact same spot when photographing the spent petals of the Illawarra Flame Tree in the Visitor's parking area located in the Australian Garden at Ganna Walska's Lotusland. Enjoy a virtual tour at Lotusland

Beverley commented:

Brachychiton acerifolius - Z10 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
Brachychiton acerifolius - min. 10 degrees C./50 degrees F. - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk

jay commented:

How beautiful is that...

jaymie commented:

hello this syte is the coolest ever i LOVE IT
I GO ON IT ALL THE TIME

Martin Wadugr. commented:

Dear Sir,
Can "Brachychiton acerifolius" can be planted and grow in Aerid Zones like Dubai or Bahrain?
Thanks,
Martin.03.06.08

Kelly Sung commented:

I grow Brachychiton acerifolius in south China, but the plant does not doing well. I would like to post some pictures of my plants to you, and ask for help.

Regards,

kelly

Maureen commented:

Have a large specimen growing in our yard on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. Have just collected seed pods off it, and they are drying and starting to open. Any idea's on germination, pot size, feeding etc?

PaulGochenauer commented:

Ipurchased some Brachychiton acerifolius seeds last year and somehow, over the months, they got placed in a community seed bed. I do not recall what these seeds looked like and therein lies my problem. After giving up on my seeds, I was surprised to find this 3 inch stem growing with a dark brown embryonic shaped seed (about 1") still attached to the end. A leaf was wemerging. The seed pod remained firmly attached and 3 weeks late it is still attached although 3 leaves are now emerging with just the tips still encased in the seed pod. These leaves are a dark green and appear to be round (oval, etc) but I cannot yet determine the exact shape or characteristics. I am thinking it may be a Brachychitonaceri folius, Can you assist me in identifying this plant from my above description? Thank you.

Joseph Cause commented:

Hi i am a seed collecter from nsw. I supply native nurserys RTA's council's etc for repropergation of certain species (Brachychiton Acerifolius as one)but due to the bizzare weather patterns seed is very hard to find.
If any one knows where there is seed for 2010 and its province that would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Joe

Comments are closed.

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