Brachychiton discolor

pink flame tree
Stout bottle-trunked tree with big, leathery, sycamore-like leaves. Pink bell flowers with ruby throats are followed by boat-like seed pods. Semi-evergreen, often blooming when leafless.
height 20–40ft
width 20–30ft
tolerates Coast, Drought, Heat, Wind
For the first three years after it’s planted, this tree should be watered deeply but infrequently (when the top three inches of soil or so have dried). After that, the tree won’t need supplemental water except in exceptionally hot and dry environments. Use drippers, emitters or a slow stream of water so that it doesn’t run off; allow the water to trickle all the way down through the deepest layers of soil.

A great trick for watering street trees is to drill a 1/8-inch hole on the bottom edge of a 5-gallon bucket, then set the bucket with the hole aligned next to the tree and fill the bucket with water. Fill once for a 1-5 gallon plant, fill twice for a 7-15 gallon plant, three times for 25g or larger plants. Propping the bucket up on bricks will help it drain faster, if needed.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose, Low Needs
origin E Australia
14–17, 21–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Tolerates near coastal conditions, but keep it a bit back from the beach where strong salty winds can make the pink flame tree look a bit sad.
Gophers can go after the pink flame tree, so if you know they are an issue be sure to cage this tree when you plant it.

Special Interest

Flowers and seed pods are covered in a bristly fuzz. While they might look like fun to pet, this fur can be quite aggravating (think fibre glass) between your fingers and should be avoided.

More Info

While this tree gets unto sixty five feet tall in nature, we don’t see it growing that large in California gardens. Who knows maybe someday, with enough time, we will!