Real World Gardener Illawarra Flame Tree is Plant of the Week

February 2nd, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.



Illawarra Flame Tree Brachychiton acerifolius
Do you need a fast growing tree or large shrub but not a Grevillea and it needs to be a native so it’ll attract local native birds?
If you do, then you can’t go past this one then because it’s a robust native tree, it’s only partially deciduous and has spectacular red flowers from early summer through to autumn.

I'm talking with the plant panel were Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner.

This tree grows to around 10 metres plus in the home garden.

In a "good year" the Illawarra flame tree is arguably the most spectacular of all Australia's native trees.

Flowering  is usually in late spring  where the tree drops its leaves first.

This tree has large seed pods which if you’re a keen propagator, you can easily germinate the seeds.

Bear in mind though that flowering may take around 5-8 years from seed.

This tree is a food plant for the larval stages of the Pencilled Blue, Helenita Blue, Common Aeroplane and Tailed Emperor Butterflies.

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