Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bottle Tree, Bottletree, Black Kurrajong, Kurrajong, Northern Kurrajong, White-flower Kurrajong
Brachychiton populneus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Brachychiton (brak-ee-KY-ton) (Info)
Species: populneus (pop-ULL-nee-us) (Info)

Synonym:Poecilodermis populnea

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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There are a total of 38 photos.
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5 positives
9 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Parma_OH On Aug 17, 2014, Parma_OH from Cleveland, OH wrote:

Brought seeds back from Sitges, Spain and got a tree to grow. For six years, had no clue what kind it was until a friend looked up the seed pod I saved. Every winter, I bring it in and had to top it to make it fit. Now I take it to work in winter where we have 15' ceilings. It loves the Ohio summers, but I know eventually it will get too big to take to work. Thanks to this site, I now know where I can get more seeds to start another if I need to. The sentimental value of this is great for us! It provides just the right amount of shade for our deck, and is a great conversation piece.

Negative ogrejelly On Aug 13, 2012, ogrejelly from Gilbert, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This tree certainly grows well in the Phoenix area climate but it is also a tree that continuously drops leaves all year round which then turn brown and stay firm and whole. They end up everywhere in your yard and every neighbor on your street. The leaves blow in the wind and scatter everywhere making huge areas that are otherwise well landscaped look messy. It does have a nice young green color to it but would not consider it anywhere you would be concerned about leaf drop.

Positive JohnBx On Mar 3, 2012, JohnBx from Toowoomba
Australia wrote:

If you like Brachychiton you must see The Man Who Adopts Trees.

Positive sandtiger21 On Aug 23, 2011, sandtiger21 from Pearland, TX wrote:

I planted 10 by seed 2 months ago. Four sprouted quickly (within 1 month) and are doing great. I plan to keep them in pots and protected through this winter and plant in the ground spring 2012. I will post about how they do in the coming months.

Positive a_griebel On Jan 8, 2011, a_griebel from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Regarding: "Jul 2, 2010, MsBonnieKR from Tucson, AZ" (When to plant in ground)

I don't have experience planting this particular tree, but I have had the most luck planting in the winter so I would expect the same for this brachychiton. 18" tall should be plenty tall to be able to survive the transition , but you may want to cover if we get a freeze after you plant it, just to be on the safe side. I live in Phoenix, AZ so I share similar summers and would NOT recommend planting in the spring, summer, or early fall. This is a beautiful tree and I love it! Although the roots are not invasive, be sure to leave room for a growing trunk.

Neutral Wombat47 On Nov 30, 2010, Wombat47 from Southern Tablelands
Australia wrote:

The Kurrajong is an Australian native tree. It is drought resistant and will re-grow following fire. It is deep-rooted and therefore not a problem on footpaths, lawns, etc. has all the information you guys might need on its cultivation, likes/dislikes, seed germination, etc.

In our early (Australian) colonial days, the seeds were roasted and used as a coffee substitute.

Neutral KurlyJean On Nov 26, 2010, KurlyJean from Trumbull, CT wrote:

The pod I was attempting to identify is in Israel. Thought I would update the list of where this tree grows.

Positive MsBonnieKR On Jul 2, 2010, MsBonnieKR from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I have the Australian Bottle Tree (Brachychiton populneus) planted about 8 years ago and it has grown exceedingly well. It has still maintained its conical shape that first drew me to it. It is a wonderful evergreen and does not have invasive roots, so it's perfect for the front of our home (Tucson, Arizona) near the sidewalk.

But I have a question I'm hoping someone can answer. My elderly mom, who loves planting seeds of all types to see what will happen, planted one of the seeds from the bottle tree. It germinated and we have repotted it twice. It is now about 18" tall. I would like to plant it at some point, but need an opinion as to approximately how large we should allow the seedling tree to grow before we do so, and perhaps how often we should repot it (and how large a pot) before it becomes large enough to be likely to do well in the ground. I'm wondering what time of year would be the best to plant it in the ground. Our spring season is very short.... summer is very long!

Any opinions out there about what to do with this "baby tree"?

Neutral unicorntech On May 4, 2010, unicorntech from Houston, TX wrote:

Believe I have one of these growing around the base of a Tall Pine in my back yard here in Houston, TX, but it was not evergreen over the winter. It was barren all winter and just budded out about 4 weeks ago (early April). Flowers and leaves appear same as many of the pictures included here. It does provide a great thicket for the birds who visit my bird feeder.

Positive Gustichock On Feb 19, 2006, Gustichock from Tandil
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

I love trees of almost all kinds! I've been introduced to this particular tree when I was living in Arizona. They sure are a mess during summer, because they renew their leaves and they are hard to take out from the rocks (most of the gardens in Arizona use rocks instead of grass).
Anyway! I've always wondered if we had this tree in Argentina. When I came back I've noticed somebody brought it to my country long time ago and it grows particularly in parks. We have old and huge specimen.
I've grown quite a few already and used them for urban landscaping! Since I don't have a big house (i.e. no big garden neither) I plant my trees on the streets.
Well, my experience it's very positive since it gets very well adapted and also it is a fast growing tree.
Now I'm exercising with B. acerifolius and B. discholor!

Neutral careyjane On Mar 21, 2005, careyjane from Rabat
Morocco wrote:

I think Fullerton CA is right about overwatering killing off the trees. I plant them quite often here in Morocco, and find that there are often one or two that don't do well - for no apparent reason until you open the planting hole and discover that there is clay at the bottom which is retaining water.
Otherwise, it is a great tree for street planting, and larger gardens. It tends to be pyramidal and compact when young giving an effect very quickly in a new garden.

Neutral PJN1 On Jul 23, 2004, PJN1 from Las Palmas - Gran Canaria
Spain wrote:

This tree grows extremely well in the Canary Islands. It may not be popular (yet) but I was pleasantly surprised to see them growing and flowering in the City of Puerto del Rosario on the island of Fuerteventura. They also grow the "acerifolius" species in the same road.

I have, in fact, started to grow my own trees from seeds I collected when I was last in Puerto del Rosario. So, in five to ten years, watch this space!

Neutral FullertonCA On Jul 13, 2004, FullertonCA from Lake Arrowhead, CA wrote:

Bottle trees were newly planted along my street, when I lived in Placentia, CA in 1996. Some of the brachychitons grew into attractive trees within four years. But, several always struggled... some even died. I suspect that the trees with lawn around them probably received too much water. From what I understand, this tree is actually a succulent and can rot if overwatered.

The trees that did thrive always looked nice. Just a slight breeze made the leaves rustle and flitter, like a quaking aspen. Heat didn't seem to bother these trees -- even our hot Santa Ana winds. My landscaper told me bottle trees are especially popular in new developments because they rapidly attain as established appearance, without overly agressive root systems.

Neutral palmbob On Aug 12, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is probably the most commonly grown Brachychiton in Southern California and is frequently used as a landscaping tree for city plantings, along with other common trees such as liquid ambar, sycamore and pines. It develops a bit of a 'bottle-like' trunk- very stout and tapering quickly towards the stop. Like all the Brachychitons, the hairs in the seed pods are sharp and act like miniature cactus spines- use gloves if digging them out to sew, or you'll be sorry.

Neutral kennedyh On Aug 5, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This tree is found in dry forests in South-Eastern Australia. It is a lovely fresh green at all times, which is quite a contrast with most Australian trees and shrubs. Its leaves are used as fodder in times of drought. It was an important tree to the local Ganai people in this area. The large fruit capsules turn black and become hard and leathery. They split along one side to reveal numerous seeds (encased in dense prickly fibres). The clean seeds were eaten raw or roasted. Young plants have yam-like tuberous roots, which were also eaten. Kurrajong were known as good water trees that can have large quantities of water trapped in their roots. The bark fibres were used for making nets, ropes and headbands.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Casa Grande, Arizona
Gilbert, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Chowchilla, California
Lakeside, California
Los Angeles, California
Oceanside, California
San Bernardino, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Wildomar, California
Henderson, Nevada (2 reports)
Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas
Pearland, Texas

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