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Genus and species
Brachychiton acerifolius
Common name/s
Illawarra Flame Tree
Subtropical forests from Innisfail, Qld
Illawarra in NSW.
The Illawarra Flame Tree is a well-recognised
flowering Australian tree, extensively cultivated not
only in Australia but overseas.
Typically forming a pyramidal shape the tree can
reach 40m in native conditions, however locally the
tree generally only reaches a third of this size.
Trees retain the monsoonal characteristic of
shedding leaves during October. In good climatic
seasons waxy scarlet red flowers smother bare
branches during November to December –
providing contrast to Jacarandas also flowering at
the same time. Dark seed follicles up to 10 cm long
develop after flowering and contain bright yellow
bristly seeds.
New leaf growth commences shortly after the floral
display producing large, glossy palmate, leaves
often variable on one tree.
The Flame trees sculptural form and seasonal
variation complement a wide variety of locations
and architecture.
Aspects of species
 Spectacular floral display during summer.
 Generally has a clear straight trunk.
 Can be used as a feature tree due to
its pyramidal shape.
 Can sometimes be difficult to establish in
Perth conditions.
 Leaf scorch can occur where trees are
exposed to drying summer winds or
reflected heat from paving.
 Does not grow well in alkaline or poor
 Seasonal leaf-fall late spring.