If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Brachychiton rupestris

(T.Mitch. ex Lindl.) K.Schum.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Brachychiton delabechei F.Muell.

Delabechea rupestris T.Mitch. ex Lindl.

Sterculia rupestris (T.Mitch. ex Lindl.) Benth.

Common Name: Bottle Tree

Brachychiton rupestris
Flowers
Photograph by: The Ruth Bancroft Garden
Creative Commons License
Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris Brachychiton rupestris

General Information

Bottle tree is an evergreen tree that can become deciduous in a drought. It can grow up to 25 metres tall. As the trees grow they develop their characteristic bulbous trunk which gives rise to the common name and which makes the tree unmistakable. Some trunks have become as large as 3.5 metres in diameter[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
,
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
A very important subsistence food of the Australian Aborigines, though little used today. The plant supplies edible seeds, leaves, roots and inner bark, as well as providing a source of water in emergencies. The plant is commonly grown as an ornamental in warm temperate to tropical zones[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].
Much of the tree's habitat has been cleared and used as grazing land, but the tree is often retained because the spongy, water-filled tissue of the cut trunks can be used as a drought fodder[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].

Known Hazards

The seeds are surrounded in the seed capsule by irritant hairs and are best collected using gloves.
The tree is sometimes used as a fodder, especially in times of drought, though there are occasional cases of cattle dying as a result of nitrate poisoning[
156
Title
Useful Wild Plants in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
William Collins Pty Ltd. Sidney
Year
1981
ISBN
0-00-216441-8
Description
A very readable book.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Australia - Queensland.

Habitat

Dry plains[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height12.00 m
Growth RateMedium
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the subtropical to tropical regions of Australia, it can tolerate a range of climates although it may be slow growing in cooler climes. It grows in a climate with plenty of rain in the wet season, but this is followed by a long dry season[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
]. Plants can tolerate occasional frosts with temperatures as low as -7°c[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
].
Requires a sunny position. Tolerates a range of soils so long as they are well-drained. Thrives in acidic soils[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
,
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
A moderately fast-growing tree if it gets sufficient moisture[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].
The bottle shaped trunk may start to be noticeable at around 5 - 8 years of age.
The trees, even when decades old, can tolerate robust transplantation. Plants have survived a period of three months between removal and being planted in their new location[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].

Edible Uses

The name of the bottle tree can be taken literally, as there is a significant amount of water stored between the inner bark and the trunk. Aboriginals historically carved holes into the soft bark to create reservoir-like structures[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The soft juicy tissue of the stem can be eaten - it is said that many a wanderer in the bush has staved off hunger by
its means[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The stem abounds in a mucilaginous substance resembling pure gum tragacanth (Astragalus spp.) in appearance[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Wholesome and nutritious, it is used as an article of food by the Australian Aborigines in cases of extreme need[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A similar clear jelly is obtainable by pouring boiling water on chips of the wood[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Seeds - raw[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Roots of young trees[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Agreeable and refreshing[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is unclear whether or not the Aborigines prepared the root in any way before consumption[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
]. The yam-like tuberous root is often much broader than the stem above it[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
].

Young stems[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
,
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Agreeable and refreshing[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The fibrous inner bark is used to make twine or rope and can be woven together to make nets[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
Australian National Botanic Gardens
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].

A gum resembling gum tragacanth (Astragalus spp.) in appearance is obtained from the trunk[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. This gum, however, does not thicken water, except to an almost inappreciable extent, and, therefore, could not have the same economic uses to which the very viscid tragacanth is put[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - fresh seed is relatively easy to germinate without the need for any pre-treatment. If dried seed is soaked in warm water for 12 - 24 hours prior to sowing it then germinates easily[
694
Title
Australian Rainforest Plants Volumes 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Nicholson N. & H.
Publisher
Terania Rainforest Publishing; New South Wales.
Year
2007
ISBN
9-78095894-3628
Description
Beautiful set of booklets with a terse description of over 600 species and their habitat, often including some of their uses and notes on their cultivation, plus at least one, excellent photograph.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Brachychiton+rupestris>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.