Brachychiton Species, Flame Bottletree, Flame Kurrajong, Illawara Flame Tree

Brachychiton acerifolius

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Brachychiton (brak-ee-KY-ton) (Info)
Species: acerifolius (a-ser-ih-FOH-lee-us) (Info)
Synonym:Clompanus acerifolia
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Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are showy

Bloom Size:

Under 1"

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Orange Beach, Alabama

Casa Grande, Arizona

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Encinitas, California

Hayward, California

Temecula, California

Yorba Linda, California

Lakeland, Florida

Naples, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Port Charlotte, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Austin, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Perth, Western Australia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 9, 2019, RosinaBloom from Waihi,
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

With ALL of these names - Brachychiton Species, Flame Bottletree, Flame Kurrajong, Illawara Flame Tree - we know it more commonly as the Illawarra Flame Tree.


On Sep 20, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is one of the most spectacular flowering trees on earth. A tree in full bloom is easily the equal of the better known jacaranda or royal poinciana.

It is said to bloom best and most reliably where winter is the dry season, as in the coast of eastern Australia, where it's native. It blooms before growing new leaves in spring in preparation for the summer rains.

I've seen photos of this species in bloom with the jacarandas.

Propagation from seed is relatively easy without any pretreatment. The seeds are surrounded in the capsule by irritant hairs and are best collected using gloves. Grafting is also relatively easy and by using scions of mature material from good flowering forms, plants will flower much earlier than those grown from seed. See... read more


On Jun 24, 2013, GladTidings from Casa Grande, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

My 3 year old froze in the coldest winter in 50 years here, and grew back from the bottom 4 inches of trunk! Does not grow as fast as Ruprestus or populus and I suspect it is not as heat resistant here in the extreme desert sun


On Apr 10, 2011, JimSims from Riverside, CA wrote:

This tree grows on the UC Riverside campus and some years puts on a real show with bright red flowers. I tried to germinate seeds from old pods around the ground from this tree. I was able to get one seedling from placing the seeds in a sand tray in a greenhouse. That seedling is about 6 years old and last year had a mild display of flowers. It is about 12 feet tall. It just started leafing out a month ago. The blooms last year came in late fall. I am hoping for a better show this year.


On Jan 26, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which grows well in the Hawaiian Islands.


On Sep 14, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I saw a group of these trees flowering away in Hayward in the east bay area. I had the same thought as the first poster-these trees and Jacaranda's go together. If i had the room...


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 "populenius" 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!


On Jul 22, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This attractive tree actually does take some frost- I have one in the yard and it's done fine down to about 27F without a burned leaf. I know they can handle much colder since it's gotten down to the low 20s briefly in LA and there are still very old happy looking specimens growing all over. They don't seem to flower as profusely in a marginal climate, but they still do, and are beautiful. The leaves are a brilliant green and soft texture. They don't bottle up like some of the other Brachychitons, but still make interesting sillohuetes.


On Jun 23, 2002, AustinBarbie from Harker Heights, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Often used as a companion plant to the jacaranda and flowering at about the same time is the Illawarra flame tree, or flame kurrajong. It is native to the forests of eastern Australia, and grows to about 15 metres (45') tall in cultivation. The leathery green leaves are big and maple-like, hence the name, but they vary - some have lobes, others don't. Flowering is also variable - sometimes they flower on one side only, sometimes they never flower, or they may flower one year but not the next. However a good specimen in full flower is an unforgettable sight - a mass of bright, scarlet bells which rivals the display of the jacaranda. The Illawarra flame tree grows best in warm climates in a sunny spot, with well-drained fertile soil and protection from wind and frost.