Brachychiton discolor F.Muell.

Queensland Lace-bark Tree

A dense, conical, deciduous tree 15-20 m tall in cultivation. Bark irregularly fissured or occasionally smooth. Leaves entire to lobed, palmate, cordate at the base with mature leaves 3-5(-7) lobed to the middle of the leaf; shallow to deeply cut in the juvenile stage, the lobes tapered at the tips or cut nearly to the midrib and divided into further irregular lobes, densely white velvet-hairy below. Leaf stalk mostly 10-15 cm long. Flowers mostly 4-5 cm long, bell-like, orange-red outside, pink inside, tube dark red below; Nov.-Mar. Fruit mostly 10-12 cm long with a rust-coloured, felty surface and stalk 1-2 cm long.

Qld, NSW

Grows naturally mostly in moist and 'dry' rainforest.

SA: Adelaide Botanic Garden (rear of Museum of Economic Botany also S of Classground). NSW: Sydney (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, inside Palace Garden entrance). VIC: Burnley (University of Melbourne Burnley Campus 13 m tall, planted c.1928); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens), Northern Lawn); Geelong (Geelong Botanic Gardens, 18 m tall in 1989); South Yarra (Domain Rd next to the newsagent); Parkville (University of Melbourne System Garden near Biosciences 2).


B. ×incarnatus Guymer subsp. incarnatus (B. discolor × B. populneus) is found as a natural hybrid in the Boonah District of SE Queensland and is also found occasionally in cultivation. A specimen may be seen in Melbourne in the car park of the Austin Hospital; it has leaves that are shiny and hairless above, white hairy below, entire or with 3(-5) narrowly triangular lobes. The flowers are 2-3 cm long and reddish pink.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Sterculiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. 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.

Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Malvales
family       Malvaceae
genus        Brachychiton Schott & Endl.