From time to time in nurseries or looking at images on the internet we see plants that attract a lot of attention. This is how I met the incredible Bottle Tree of Australia, whose scientific name is Brachychiton rupestris. What's so special about it? They are not its leaves, nor its flowers, but its trunk, which thickens so much that it surprises you.
In addition, it gives very good shade once it reaches adulthood, and it is very easy to care for.
Characteristics of the Brachychiton rupestris
The Australian Bottle Tree grows to 15 meters Tall. It has a pyramidal shape, with a smooth, bluish-green bottle-shaped trunk. The leaves are whole, lanceolate, 7-12cm long; in young specimens they are palmatidigital, with 5-9 linear leaflets 12-15cm long. The flowers appear in axillary panicles, and are accompanied. And the fruit is an ovoid follicle, about 4cm long, inside which are the seeds that are smooth and shiny.
Its growth rate, although it may seem otherwise, is quite fast, being able to grow a few 20-30cm / year. It should be noted that it grows in all types of soils, but unfortunately it will only vegetate well in mild climates, with occasional frosts down to -2ºC.
How do you take care of yourself?
If you want to have a unique tree in your garden, take note of these tips:
- Location: outside, in full sun.
- Land: with good drainage. If it is very compact, mix it with equal parts perlite or expanded clay.
- Irrigation: between 2 and 3 times a week in summer, and every week the rest of the year. Resists drought.
- Transplant: in spring.
- Multiplication: by seeds in spring. Direct sowing in seedbed.
- Pruning: It's not necesary.
- Plagues and diseases: it is a very resistant plant, but it can be affected by cottony mealybugs if the environment is very dry. If that happens, they can be removed by hand or with a swab from the ears dipped in water or pharmacy alcohol.
What did you think of this unique tree? Did you know him?