Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Brachychiton albidus Guymer

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Ramiflourous flowers and buds. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Dehiscing fruit. © A. Ford & F. Goulter
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Guymer, G.P. (1988) Australian Systematic Botany 1(3): 271. Type: Queensland, 34.5 km WNW of Mount Carbine, 11 Jan. 1977, G.P. Guymer 885; holo: BRI; iso: CANB, DNA, JCT, K, NE, NSW, QRS.


Occasionally grows into a small tree but often flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-4 m tall. Deciduous; leafless for a period between June and November.


Four main lateral veins and the midrib radiate from the base of the 3-5-lobed leaf blade. Lower surface of the leaf blade densely clothed in short, pale, stellate hairs, upper surface almost glabrous or sparsely clothed in stellate hairs. Leaf blades about 4.5-14.5 x 5.5-16 cm, usually wider than long. Petioles terete, about 3-12 cm long, clothed in short stellate hairs. Stipules small, about 1-6 mm long, caducous. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Large mucilage canals visible in the twig pith. Fine oak grain usually visible in the twigs.


Perianth mainly dull red outside, green or grey-green near the base. Perianth about 23-35 mm long, valvate in the bud, stellate hairy on both the outer and inner surfaces. Floral nectaries distinct, about 10-15, usually two opposite each perianth lobe. Stamens about 15-30 per flower, filaments fused, anthers about 2.5 mm long, free part of filaments about 1 mm long. Ovaries clothed in stellate hairs, ovules numerous, more than 20 per ovary. Styles +/- fused towards the apex.


Fruits glabrous or sparsely stellate hairy on the outer surface, about 3.5-9 x 2.5-3.5 cm. Seeds about 7-32 per fruit, about 8.5-12 x 6-8 mm, enclosed in an aril-like covering around most of the testa. Testa glabrous, hard. Endosperm abundant.


First pair of leaves cordate, triangular or ovate, about 2.5-3 x 2-2.5 cm. Upper surface of the leaf blades sparsely clothed in stellate hairs. Lower surface densely stellate hairy. Petiole about 15-20 mm long, clothed in stellate hairs. Stipules filiform, about 2-3 mm long. Taproot swollen, carrot-like (Daucus carota). At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade +/- palmate, usually 3-lobed, apex acute, base cordate. Both the upper and lower surfaces clothed in sessile stellate hairs. Petiole densely stellate hairy. Petiole at least as long as the leaf blade. Leaf blade palmately veined with 5-7 veins (including the midrib) radiating from the base. Seed germination time 19 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ. Altitudinal range from 200-700 m. Grows in open eucalypt forest, vine thickets and monsoon forest.

Natural History & Notes

Not common in cultivation but would make an outstanding tree for dryer areas.

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