Evergreen tree to 12-15 m tall in cultivation (to 45 m tall in the wild). Bark grey, finely fissured and tesselated on mature trees. Leaves ovate, leathery, shiny above, entire or with 3-5(-7) lobes with blades to about 10-25 cm long, shed from the flowering branches; venation pinnate or palmate. Leaf stalk 5-20 cm long, 2-4 mm wide, hairless. Flowers in many-flowered clusters, bright scarlet, each 1-2 cm long, 1.5 cm wide on scarlet stalks; Nov.-Dec. Stamens cream. Carpels hairless. Fruit 7-12 cm long, hairless, on stalks 6-8 cm long.
Coastal E Australia (especially Illawarra Range)
Grows naturally in a disjunct distribution from the Shoalhaven River in S NSW to the Claudie River on the Cape York Peninsula, mostly in subtropical vine forest.
VIC: Burnley (University of Melbourne Burnley Campus 20 m tall planted c. 1928); Caulfield Park (many); Coburg (De Chene Reserve); Moonee Ponds (Queens Park, several); Hawthorn (Central Gardens); Kew (Victoria Park); Maryborough (Princess Park, 16 m tall in 1984); Melbourne (Treasury Gardens); Wangaratta (Anglican Cathedral).
Source: (1997). Sterculiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.