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Broad-leaved Bottle Tree

Family: Malvaceae

Characteristics: Evergreen or deciduous tree to 15 m spread 6 m

Seed per packet: 5

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The characteristic bulbous trunk which is swollen at the base and tapering towards the apex gives rise to the common name Bottle tree.

The deep red bell shaped flowers occur in short sprays during summer. The flowers are followed by seed pods which contain many seeds. Deciduous in cooler climates.

Leaves are glossy green 20 cm across hence the name "broad-leaved bottle tree"

A small to medium sized tree which may reach 15 metres in height although it is usually much smaller in cultivation or cooler areas.

Endemic to the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Seed is usually best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination of this genus is around 18-22°C

Brachychiton seeds germinate readily, however they do have a hard outer coating, to assist with the update of moisture required for germination the following method is suggested. This is not critical but will generally reduce germination time.

  1. Place the seed in a container and pour in just boiled water and soak for 30 seconds
  2. Transfer to a container with luke warm water and soak overnight.
  3. The swollen seed can then be sown, re-treat seeds that have not swollen.
  4. Sow the depth of seed deep.
  5. Place in a warm shaded or semi shaded position to avoid dying out.
  6. The growing medium should be well draining but should remain damp between watering. Keep moist but not too wet as the seed may rot. Do not let the growing mix completely dry out.
  7. Germination should occur in 10-21 days @ 18-22C

General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.

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