Garden

Flame tree, Bottle tree - Brachychiton acerifolius

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GeneralitŠ°

The Brachychiton is a genus that includes 20-30 species of shrubs or trees originating in Australia, which in optimal conditions can reach 20-30 meters in height, even if they usually keep within a smaller size between 10 and 15 m. They have a sinuous trunk, which tends to widen at the base, with a large and disordered crown, usually pyramidal in shape. The leaves are large, bright green, shiny, with full margins or deeply lobed. Brachychiton Populneus produces greenish flowers, gathered in panicles.

Brachychiton acerifolius, or bottle tree, is highly appreciated for its showy spring flowering of a red-purple color. Brachychiton rupestris is the most rustic and resistant species, slow growing. The flowers are replaced by the fruits: large semi-woody capsules, inside which there are large seeds. Some species are small in size and fear the cold and are grown as houseplants.


Exposure

Brachychiton acerifolius, better known as bottle tree o flame, prefers very sunny locations. The adult specimens of this genus of trees do not fear the cold weather, but the young plants must be sheltered in winter, to avoid that the frost damages them. If they are placed in the ground, it is possible to intervene with non-woven fabric to cover the leaf apparatus and mulch material or dry leaves, to repair the root system from the consequences of the harsh climate.

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