Brachychiton bidwillii

Taisha is the author of today’s entry:

Brachychiton bidwillii is commonly known as the dwarf kurrajong. This photo was chosen from the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Regular contributor andreas lambrianides@Flickr shared this picture. I look forward to seeing more of Andreas’ photographs of Australian flora in bloom over the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months, since winter is hitting here in the North. Thanks Andreas for the photo!

A member of Malvaceae or mallow family, Brachychiton bidwillii is a large shrub or small tree native to the tropical areas of Australia. This species is variable in its form with differing heights (2m shrub to 5m tree), leaf lobing, flower colour (brightish-red to pink) and flower size. This drought-tolerant species develops tuberous roots, and most forms drop their leaves before flowering each year.

Brachychiton was once placed in the family Sterculiaceae. Sterculiaceae is named after the Roman god of privies, Sterculius, in reference to the unpleasant smell of some of the species. Other genera that belong to this now-subfamily (Sterculioideae) are Theobroma (most are likely familiar with Theobroma cocao) and Cola, the genus in which one finds the caffeine-containing Kola nut. For more, see: Plunkett, W. et al. 2006. Phylogenetic Relationships within the Subfamily Sterculioideae (Malvaceae/Sterculiaceae-Sterculieae) Using the Chloroplast Gene ndhF. Systematic Botany. 31(1): 160-170.

Brachychiton bidwillii

6 responses to “Brachychiton bidwillii”

  1. Calochilus

    One of the more common but less flamboyant members of the genus, B. populneum is flowering abundantly in Canberra at the moment (Zone 9b perhaps for those of you on the wrong end of the world 🙂

  2. Jane / MulchMaid

    This picture is a beautiful contrast between the smooth, velvety color of the flowers and the textured, rough bark.

  3. Susan

    I checked out some of the photographer’s other photos on flicker. They are excellent. In looking up this species I see that it is available in the US. I’m wondering if it would make a great container/houseplant for us in the cold north.

  4. Peony Fan

    Gorgeous photo! Thank you. I am curious: do all the flowers of this plant emanate directly from the trunk? Are there branches and twigs?

  5. Pat

    What pretty cauliflors.

  6. Ken

    More information where in answer Peony’s question the flowers are shooting from the branches. The one we see generally in Australia is Brachychiton acerifolius, which is flowering beautifully in Sydney at the moment.

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