Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Brachychiton acerifolius (A.Cunn. ex G.Don) F.Muell.
Mueller, F.J.H. von in Hooker, W.J. (ed.) (1857) Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany 9: 198.
Illawarra Flame Tree; Lacebark Tree; Flametree; Flame Kurrajong; Kurrajong, Flame
Deciduous; leafless for a period between October and December. Inner blaze very fibrous showing a lace-like pattern corresponding to the oak grain in the wood. Yellowish horizontal flecks often present in the outer blaze. Lenticels arranged in vertical lines.
Fruits glabrous outside, about 8-12 x 3.5-4 cm. Seeds about 10-12 x 5-7 mm.
Cotyledons oblong, about 40 x 20-25 mm. First leaves with a smooth margin becoming lobed at the 3rd or 4th leaf stage. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves 5-lobed; terminal bud clothed in stellate hairs. Seed germination time 18 days.
Like many members of the Sterculiaceae, this species produces mucilage when wounded. When the fruits of this species are wounded by insects they produce a mucilage. If this substance falls on motor vehicles it will often lift the paint off the vehicle much to the chagrin of the proud owner.
Food plant for the larval stages of the Pencilled Blue, Helenita Blue, Common Aeroplane and Tailed Emperor Butterflies. Common & Waterhouse (1981).
A spectacular tree commonly cultivated in Australia and overseas. Trees are usually leafless when flowering.