Brachychiton Species, Bottle Tree, Kurrajong

Brachychiton populneus

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



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Light Green

Medium Green


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (yellow-green)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

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; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds


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


Casa Grande, Arizona

Gilbert, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona(3 reports)

Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, California

Chowchilla, California

Lakeside, California

Los Angeles, California

Oceanside, California

San Bernardino, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Ventura, California

Wildomar, California

Henderson, Nevada(2 reports)

Las Vegas, Nevada(2 reports)

Austin, Texas

Houston, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Saint George, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 17, 2021, UtahTropics12 from Salt Lake City, UT (Zone 7b) wrote:

Brachychiton populneus is an outstanding tree, and has proven to be VERY hardy in St George, Utah (zone 9a). My brother bought a new home about 15 years ago in St.George,and the lot was completely empty. He wanted some big broad leaf evergreen trees to shade his lot, So I went to the local nursery (Star Nursery, GREAT place).To my surprise I saw that they had good size Bottle Trees which really surprised me and caught my interest immediately. I was told they where a little tender in the area, but can definitely be grown very successfully. Well long story short, his 3 bottle trees have survived AMAZINGLY and have taken some very cold winters (18-20 F) with ease. St George had the coldest winter its had in 50 years and they soared right through it. In my experience I would say these trees a... read more


On Feb 8, 2017, DFinch wrote:

About 20 years ago, a friend gave me one of these in a 5 Gal can. No ideas how long it had been in it. I unceremoniously dug a hole and popped it in, in a location without immediate supplemental water. It is now at least 40 ft., seems very healthy and has gone through high heat and drought years here at the base of the San Gabriel Mtns. in So. California. It gets a bit of shade from nearby trees depending on season and time of day, and may have sent roots towards a portion of the lot which receives low irrigation once a week. Never fed, never fussed over, never needs pruning. My kind of tree.


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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... read more


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.


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 exe... read more


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.