Brachychiton discolor or white kurrajong is an Australian bottle tree that grows and flowers beautifully in a Mediterranean climate. Elsewhere, it can be grown in a pot that you bring in in the winter.
Scientific N. Brachychiton discolor
Synonyms Sterculia discolor, Clompanus discolor
Flowers more or less dark pink
Typepachycaule plant, bottle-tree
Foliage void in case of drought
Height7m in culture, 30m in his country of origin
Plant and cultivate
Hardiness slightly hardy, up to -7C
Acidity neutral acid
Humidity normal sec
Usecontainer, bonsa, Mediterranean plant
Brachychiton disoclor, called white kurrajong or two-tone bottle-tree is a tree lapsed belonging to the Malvaceae. It is native to Australia, more specifically New South Wales and Queensland, where it lives in dry tropical forest, on well-drained slopes.
Relatively rustic, the two-tone bottle-tree is cultivable in the ground on the Côte d’Azur. Its cloud of pink flowers is then spectacular. It also makes an interesting pachycaule plants for large container, which is sheltered in winter.
Description of Brachychiton discolor
The white kurrajong is a bottle tree which reaches 20 to 30 m in its country of origin. In a Mediterranean climate, it hardly rises above 7 to 8 m, but that does not prevent it from widening its bottle-shaped trunk. Its trunk can take a diameter of 90 to 120 cm.
Its branches bear glossy, deeply lobed leaves, smooth above and hairy on the reverse, 15 cm long. They have the particularity of being deciduous if the tree runs out of water, while quickly renewing its foliage if it is watered.
Flowering occurs in summer, often when the brachychiton has lost its foliage, it then appears to be a pink cloud hanging on the branch.
The 5 cm bright pink flowers are campanulate, thick and hairy, with 5 angular, curved and short lobes. They are grouped in panicles at the end of the branch or in the axils of the leaves.
Fertilized by insects, they produce 15 cm hairy fruit shaped like a boat hull containing yellow seeds as well as tiny itchy thorns.
Brachychiton x roseus, a hybrid Come in Brachycgiton populneus and Brachychiton discolor, is hardy to -8 ° C.
How to cultivate Brachychiton discolor ?
The two-tone bottle-tree is hardy only down to -7 ° C, this is why it is only cultivated in the ground in France on the Côte d’Azur. Theoretically, it requires a dry winter (which is offered when it is potted and sheltered) and a hot humid season, but knows how to adapt to the Mediterranean climate.
The white Kurrajong needs a fertile and draining soil, as well as a exposition sunny. He is very drought resistant, but shows much more consistent growth if watered regularly during the growing season. In particular, it can thicken and take its bottle shape much more quickly. In a pot, it will be planted in a potting soil rich and draining, installed in the sun in summer then sheltered from winter rains and heavy frosts in winter. Kept dry, winter will be a period of rest for him, which avoids the problems associated with lack of light.
How to multiply Brachychiton discolor ?
Semis : Be careful, in their pod, the seeds are surrounded by irritating hairs (glochids as in opuntias) which dig into the skin. It is worth handling them with gloves. These seeds are soaked for 48 hours, then are simply buried in a moist soil, maintained between 25 and 30 ° C. They germinate in 3 weeks. These very young trees need regular watering, they must thicken a few months before they become resistant to drought.
One Brachychiton discolor from seeds can ask 10 years before flowering for the first time.
The multiplication can also be carried out by grafting on Brachychiton acerifolius Where Brachychiton populneus. These grafts have the advantage of making it flower more quickly.
Species and varieties of Brachychiton
20 species in this genus:
- Brachychiton aerifolius, the maple leaf sterculia
- Brachychiton bidwidii, Kurrajong nain, sterculie nain
- Brachychiton populneus, le kurrajong
- Brachychiton rupestris, the sterculia of the rocks
- Brachychiton australis, with pink flowers
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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