Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Brachychiton australis (Schott & Endl.) A.Terracc.

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Flowers. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Terracciano, A. (1897) Bollettino delle r. Orto Botanico e Giardino Coloniale di Palermo 1(2): 62.

Common name

Broad Leaved Bottletree; Bottletree; Large Leaved Bottletree; Broad-leafed Bottle Tree


Deciduous; leafless for a period between June and August. White, granular and darker fibrous stripes in the outer blaze. Oak grain in the inner blaze.


Leaf blades about 8-18 x 12-20 cm, 4-9-lobed, each ending in a fine tip. Sometimes the major lobes also have lobed margins towards the base. Twig bark strong and fibrous when stripped. Pores in the twig pith readily visible to the naked eye.


Perianth about 15-22 mm long, valvate in the bud, stellate-puberulent outside (hairs brown), +/- glabrous inside, but hirsute with white simple hairs in the lower part and clothed in white stellate hairs on the lobes. Floral nectaries absent from the inside of the perianth tube. Usually flowering when leafless.


Fruits glabrous outside, about 7-11 x 3-4 cm. Seeds about 7.5-10 x 5-6 mm.


Cotyledons oblong, about 20-25 x 20 mm, underside hairy at the base. Petiole hairy. First pair of leaves cordate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves cordate, apex acute or obtuse, base cordate, lobes overlapping, upper surface hairy along the veins, three to 3-5 main veins radiate from the petiole; petiole, stem and terminal bud hairy; stipules oblong, hairy; stem slightly swollen towards the base. Seed germination time 4 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 300-800 m. Grows in monsoon forest and vine thickets in rather rocky situations.

Natural History & Notes

A very large bottle tree that would be useful in parks or gardens in dryer areas. Flower are white and are produced when the tree is leafless.

Brachychiton australis (Schott & Endl.) A.Terracc. var. australis, Bolletino del R. Orto Botanico di Palermo 1 : 62 (1897). Brachychiton platanoides R.Br., Plantae Javanicae Rariores : 234 (1844), Type: In ora orientali, intra tropicum, Novae Hollandiae ann. 1802 legi. Northumberland Island. Brachychiton australis var. typicum A.Terracc., Bolletino del R. Orto Botanico di Palermo 1 : 62 (1897). Clompanus australis (Schott & Endl.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 1: 78 (1891). Sterculia australis (Schott & Endl.) Druce, The Botanical Exchange Club and Society of the British Isles Report for 1916, Suppl. 2 : 648 (1917). Sterculia australis (Schott & Endl.) Druce var. australis, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 968 (1928). Sterculia australis var. genuina Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 968 (1928). Trichosiphum australe Schott & Endl., Meletemata Botanica : 34(1832), Type: Arbor Insulae Northumberland. .. Brachychiton trichosiphon (Benth.) Ewart & O.B.Davies, Flora of the Northern Territory : 192 (1917). Sterculia trichosiphon Benth., Flora Australiensis 1: 229 (1863), Type: Queensland, Wide Bay, J.C. Bidwill; lecto: K. Fide Guymer (1988). Sterculia australis var. dietrichiae Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 968 (1928), Type: Queensland: Brisbane River, A. DIETRICH No. 1015.
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