Brachychiton populneus ( Heinrich Wilhelm Schott & Stephan Ladislaus Endlicher, 1844)
White Kurrajong,  
STERCULIACEAE

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Flowering branch
Near Mackillop Bridge on the Snowy River, Victoria
30th November 1985

The White Kurrajong is an evergreen tree, to 20 metres high. Leaves are a fresh green, ovate, to 10 cm long, often with 3 to 5 lobes. The flowers are creamy-white or greenish, with dark speckles in the throat. They have no petals, but the calyx is surmounted by 5 petaloid sepals. The fruit is a 7 cm boat-shaped capsule, becoming blackish, containing numerous large yellow seeds, which are coated with irritant hairs.

This tree was important to the Koorie people. The seeds were cleaned and eaten, either raw or roasted. Young plants have yam-like tuberous roots which were eaten. White Kurrajong were known as good water trees that can have large quantities of water trapped in their roots. The bark fibres of Kurrajong were used for making nets, ropes and headbands.

White Kurrajong trees are now often planted as shade trees and used as a source of fodder during dry seasons.

The White Kurrajong is a widespread tree of forest and woodland in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The foliage is food for some Caterpillars, for example :

Chasmina pulchra
NOCTUIDAE
Netrocoryne repanda (Eastern Flat)
HESPERIIDAE
Candalides absimilis (Pencilled Blue)
LYCAENIDAE
Phaedyma shepherdi (Common Aeroplane)
NYMPHALIDAE
Dichocrosis clytusalis (Kurrajong Bag Moth)
CRAMBIDAE

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(updated 28 December 2009)