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Lacebark Tree Overview
Brachychiton discolor is a large, deciduous tree species in the Malvaceae family. Originating from dry rainforest environments in eastern Australia, this plant is adapted to survive periods of drought. Leaves are covered in hairs, they are lobed in appearance, similar to those of maple trees, with 3, 5 or 7 points to a leaf. Leaves measure 10-20cm across and are coloured dark green on the upper surface and whitish below, prominently veined. Leaves drop before flowering. The trunk is grey in colour, roughly grooved and straight, without a buttressed base, branches are smooth and brown. It grows to a maximum height of around 30m, producing showy pink, bell-shaped flowers which lack petals. The flowers measure approximately 3-4cm across, leading onto boat-shaped dry fruits between 7-20cm long, containing up to 30 edible seeds. This plant is termed monoecious as it produces individual male and female flowers on the same plant. Flowering occurs in spring and summer and is the main reason for cultivation, this large tree can provide great shade. The foliage can also turn a vivid red shade, so makes a nice autumnal addition. It is widely planted as an ornamental and also makes a good street tree due to its compact root system.