Ajuntament de Barcelona

Brachychiton acerifolius

Mossèn Costa i Llobera Garden

    Catalan name: 
    Arbre del foc
    Spanish name: 
    Árbol de la llama
    English name: 
    Australian flame tree
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Sterculia acerifolia
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Sterculiaceae
    Origin: 
    Australia
    Habitat: 
    Fertile and well-drained soils in warm and sunny climates
    Characteristics: 

    Deciduous tree 10-15 m tall (in its original area it can reach 40 m), with a pyramid-structure crown.

    The big leaves are palmate, with 3, 5 or 7 lobes of variable shape and a long petiole. They are bright green and slightly leathery.

    The flowers appear when the leaves have fallen. They are small, bell-shaped and made of 5 partially fused intense red to scarlet petals.

    The fruit is a pod about 10 cm long and 1 cm wide. Its colour varies from dark chestnut to dark brown (blackish when ripen). It contains yellow seeds that are covered by an abundant and short hairiness.

    Flowering time: 
    May-June
    Fruiting time: 
    Summer
    Uses and properties: 

    Indigenous Australians eat the seeds of the Australian Flame Tree by roasting them and use the bark to make strings and fishing networks.

    It's a tree that growns fast in warm weather and it's used as a tree in streets and parks.

    History and curiosities: 

    The genus name Brachychiton comes from the Greek words βραχύς, “short”, and χιτών, “tunic”, alluding, probably, the short and dense hairiness that covers this genus seeds. The term acerifolius, “of leaves ressembling the marple leaves”, comes from the Latin words acer, “marple”, and folia, “leaf”.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001

    tHE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996

    http://www.rhs.org.uk