Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Sterculiaceae >>> Brachychiton spp.

Bottle Tree

Brachychiton populneus

Bottle Tree or Kurrajong photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in Glendale, Maricopa Co., Arizona. April 2011.

TREE: An attractive but non-native tree widely planted in urban centers of Arizona and California deserts. Trunk is large in diameter for height of tree. Smooth and greenish becoming dark gray or brown.

LEAVES: Leaves alternate, dark green, shiny and triangular to elyptic in shape. Several hybrids are planted with slightly different leaf shapes.

RANGE: Originally from Australia where there are many species. Now planted in hot desert cities around the World. Escaped seedlings and small trees are moving into well-watered areas of adjacent Sonoran Desert.

FRUIT: A woody, elyptical capsule that turns dark brown on ripening. Splits lengthwise to release many seeds.

FLOWERS: Cream to reddish flowers hang in clusters from the branch tips. Flowers mid spring.

UNARMED. No thorns or spines.

Sterculiaceae -- Cacao Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2011