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Species profile—Brachychiton compactus


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → SterculiaceaeBrachychiton compactus

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Scientific name
Brachychiton compactus Guymer
WildNet taxon ID
Alternate name(s)
Whitsunday bottle tree
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Near threatened
Conservation significant
Pest status
Short Notes
BRI 232988
Brachychiton compactus is a semi-deciduous tree 8 to 15 m tall. The trunk has a dbh of 80 to140 cm and a height of 4 to 10 m. The crown is compact and spherical; the bark is dark grey, fissured and tessellated on the trunk, grey and slightly fissured on the branches. The leaf blades are shiny above, paler below, ovate to ovate lanceolate, 6 to 12 cm long and 2.5 to 5.5 cm wide; the tips are acuminate, acute or rarely obtuse; the base is truncate, slightly cordate or rounded; the margins are slightly crenulate; the venation is pinnate and is quite distinct with the midrib slightly raised above and below. The stipules are caducous, oblong-lanceolate, acute, and stellate-puberulent, they are 5 to 6 mm long by 1.2 to 1.5 mm wide. The juvenile leaf blades are digitately compound or deeply lobed; there are 3 to 9 linear to lanceolate leaflets or lobes which are occasionally ovate-lanceolate; they are 6 to13cm long by 1 to 3.2cm wide with a petiole that is 4.5 to 13 cm long, by 0.7 to 1.5 mm diam. The inflorescences are axillary, compact, compound-paniculate and are 30 to 80 flowered, the ultimate branches are usually triads, and are 1 to 2 (-2.5) cm long; The bracts are caducous, ovate or obovate, cymbiform, stellate-puberulent, and are 2 to 3 mm long, by 1.3 to 1.9 mm wide. The flowers are 5 to 8 mm long, by 14 to 17 mm diam. The perianth is pale inside above the middle, and glandular puberulent below; the lobes are oblong-ovate or ovate, white and stellate tomentose inside, and are 5 to 8 mm long by 2 to 4 mm wide. The carpelodes are stellate-pubescent around the top of the ovaries, occasionally sparsely pubescent, 0.4 to 0.6 mm long, by 0.15 to 0.2 mm wide. The follicles are glabrous outside, ellipsoid, stipitate, rostrate, 3 to 4 cm long, by 1.6 to 2.2 cm wide; the pericarp is 0.9 to 1.2 mm thick; the stipes are twisted, 30 to 35 mm long, by 1.4 to 2 mm diam.; the apices are deltoid to narrowly-triangular, erect or slightly incurved, 5 to 10 mm long; the pericap is stellate-hirsute inside (hairs occasionally 2-branched or stellate), and glabrous above. There are 4 to 12 seeds per follicle, which are smooth, ovoid, 7 to 8 mm long, by 3.5 to 4 mm diam. (Guymer 1989).
Brachychiton compactus is closely related to B. rupestris. It is distinguished from B. rupestris by its ovate-lanceolate leaves, shorter, compact, 30 to 80 flowered inflorescences, and longer-ellipsoid follicles (3 to 4cm long) with erect or slightly incurved apices. (Guymer, 1989).
The species has a very restricted distribution on the central coast of Queensland and also occurs in a fragmented araucarian vine thicket on Hayman Island. (Guymer 1989) It has been found within Conway NP. (Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Distributional limits
-20.0572222, 148.5191666
-20.2834397, 148.9342444
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Brachychiton compactus is commonly found on steep lower slopes or rarely on rocky headlands, from near sea-level to 100 m. Soils are usually shallow, gravelly or stony, with frequent rock outcrops or screes; they are derived mainly from granite.
The species is a component of semi-evergreen notophyll-microphyll vine thickets or low vine forests (occasionally with Araucaria cunninghamii). (Guymer, 1989)
Brachychiton compactus flowers between October and November and fruits between December and March. (Guymer, 1989).
Status notes
Brachychiton compactus is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral district: North Kennedy.
Guymer, G.P. (1989). A Taxonomic Revision of Brachychiton (Sterculiaceae). Australian Systematic Botany 1 (3): 240-243.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 19/01/2012.
Profile author
Ronald Booth (05/03/2012)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024