Tree to 20 m or more in the wild generally much less in cultivation. Trunk massive, swollen in the centre to 2-3 m wide to give the strange bottle-like appearance with several large branches from the top. Leaves variable in shape from lanceolate to lobed. Flowers about 1 cm long, pale yellow with red markings inside; Nov.-Jan. Fruit 1.5-3 cm long, beaked, in clusters of 3-5; seeds smooth, 6-7 mm long.
Grows naturally betweeen the coast and the Great Divide on hilltops and slopes.
An important source of fodder in times of drought, mostly the trunk but occasionally the leaves.
NSW: Camden (St John's Anglican Church); Narrandera (Park); Sydney (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney). VIC: Balwyn (Maranoa Gardens); Caulfield ('Ripponlea'); Melbourne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne Gardens) Central Lawn); Wangaratta ('Bontharambo'). On Queensland's Darling Downs at Newstead House there is a specimen planted in 1956 by Lady Lavarack, wife of the first Queensland-born Governor.
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.