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NARROW LEAFED BOTTLE TREE

Brachychiton rupestris

Plant Family

Malvaceae (previously  Sterculiaceae)

Alternative Common Names

Queensland bottle tree

Medium tree 9 -12 m high. Has a distinctive bulbous lover trunk, hence name bottle tree, which can eventually have a girth of 6 -10 m. Deciduous, losing its leaves between September and December.

Leaves - are simple or divided, with one or more narrow leaf blades up to 11 cm long and 2 cm wide.

Flowers - cream-coloured

Pods - follows flowering with small woody boat-shaped follicles that ripen from November to May.

Flowering September to November.

Indigenous uses - roots of young plants were a food source and also tapped for water. Fibrous inner bark, seeds after roasting and secretions from the trunk that were induced by wounds were all consumed.

Habitat

As a drought deciduous succulent tree, it adapts readily to cultivation and is tolerant of a range of soils and temperatures. It is a key component and emergent tree in the endangered central semi-evergreen vine thickets—also known as bottletree scrub—of the Queensland Brigalow Belt. Remnant trees are often left by farmers on cleared land for their value as shade and fodder trees.

11, 20

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