Brachychiton populneus tree pictures

Brachychiton populneus (Kurrajong)

Brachychiton populneus tree belongs to the Sterculiaceae family. It popularly known as Kurrajong or Australian bottle tree and is widely distributed in south-eastern part of Australia. This tree is very important in its native region since all the parts of the tree are used in some way or the other. In recent years, this tree has become a popular ornamental tree for gardens.

Brachychiton populneus Description

Size: This medium sized tree can grow up to 45 feet tall and spread around 30 feet in diameter. The most distinctive feature of a full grown tree is its stem, which has got the shape of a bottle. The ovate green colored leaves are generally 12 – 15 cm long.

Flower: At the end of branches, flowers are borne in clusters during summers. Flowers are generally cream in color with small reddish spots on their inner sides.

Fruit: The hard brown colored fruit of the tree is around 6 – 7 cm long. Ripe fruits are black in color and contain around twenty hairy seeds inside.

Brachychiton populneus tree pictures
Picture 1: Picture of Brachychiton populneus

Brachychiton populneus Varieties

There are more than 30 species that belong to this genus and nearly all of them are native to Australia. Some of its popular species are:

  • Brachychiton acerifolius
  • Brachychiton australis
  • Brachychiton bidwillii
  • Brachychiton discolor
  • Brachychiton populneus
  • Brachychiton rupestris

Brachychiton populneus Habitat

This tree grows naturally in its native range. It can be found in many places, starting from semi arid areas to coastal areas. Well-drained soil is best for the growth of this plant. They hardly grow in very humid and wet coastal areas.

Brachychiton populneus Range

In Australia, this tree is found in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Brachychiton populneus Nutritional Facts

The nutritious seed contain 25% fat, 18% protein and has 0% calories. The level of magnesium and zinc are also high in the seeds.

How to Grow Brachychiton populneus?

This plant can be grown quite easily, since it can tolerate dry conditions. This tree is cultivated in farming areas and it can be cultivated in a range of soils and climates.

Brachychiton populneus Cultivation

Here are few simple steps of growing this tree-

  1. Germinate the seeds of Brachychiton populneus by keeping them in slight hot water for 10 – 12 hours. Then plant the seeds into small sized planters with very high quality soil.
  2. Planters are supposed to be kept in a warm location. The soil should be moistened daily or it will dry out.
  3. When the seedlings reach around 8 – 9 inches in height, transplant them into a big or medium sized planter so that it can continue to grow indoors. The plants can be transplanted outside when they reach around 18 – 20 inches in height.
  4. While transplanting the seedlings or small plants, make sure that there is no danger of frost. The area where you want to transplant must receive partial or full sunlight and should have well draining soil. Dig a big hole for each plant and there should be enough space between two holes so that there is enough room for the plant to grow properly.
  5. Pull the seedlings gently along with soil from the planter. Try not to break or damage the root while pulling.
  6. The planting the seedling at the centre of the hole, cover it well with soil and spread a 1 – 2 inch of small wood chips over the plantation areas.
  7. During summer, water the plant once in a week and once in every two weeks during spring and fall.
  8. Tree can be fertilized with high-phosphorous fertilizer once after planting. Different brands have different ways of application. So, read the application procedure before using it.

Brachychiton populneus Harvest

The fruit is harvested throughout the year. One must wear a glove while harvesting as it may cause skin irritation.

Brachychiton populneus Uses

Parts of this tree are used in numerous ways. The roasted seeds are eaten by Aboriginal Australians. Grounded seeds are used as coffee substitute and sometime added to bread. The gum exudates are also edible.

The leaves are used to feed livestock during drought. The wood is used to make a kind of shield. The bark of this tree is the source of fiber, which is used to make fishing lines and nets.

Brachychiton populneus as Ornamental Tree

This species has been hybridized with other species of this family, like Illawarra Flame Tree and Queensland Bottle Tree for producing new garden ornamental trees, which are very popular in gardens around the world.

Brachychiton populneus Side Effects

The hair on the seeds can cause skin irritation on sensitive skin. Therefore, while harvesting one must not forget to wear a glove.

Brachychiton populneus Interesting Facts

Here are some interesting facts of this tree.

  • In countries like United States, Spain and South Africa, this tree has been introduced as an ornamental tree.
  • The fiber from the bark of various plants is called “Kurrajong”.
  • In the United States, this plant is known as bottle tree.
  • The common name comes from the shape of the tree that looks like a bottle.
  • Brachychiton populneus is a commonly found street tree in Australia.
  • Native population of this tree is often retained since it provides shade in open lands.

Brachychiton populneus Pictures

Here are some pictures of this beautiful tree:

Brachychiton populneus images
Picture 2: Brachychiton populneus Image

Brachychiton populneus seed pods
Picture 3: Brachychiton populneus seed pods

The seeds of this tree can be collected in the wild and they are also available for sale in markets around the world.

References:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Brachychiton+populneus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachychiton_populneus

http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2002/brachychiton-populneus.html

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