Definitions for brachychiton
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Brachychiton, genus Brachychiton(noun)
Australian trees (usually with swollen trunks)
Brachychiton is a genus of 31 species of trees and large shrubs, native to Australia, and New Guinea. Fossils from New South Wales and New Zealand are estimated to be 50 million years old, corresponding to the Tertiary. They grow to 4 – 30m tall, and some are dry-season deciduous. Several species are pachycaul plants with a very stout stem for their overall size, used to store water during periods of drought. The leaves show intraspecific variation and generally range from entire to deeply palmately lobed with long slender leaflet-like lobes joined only right at the base. Their sizes range from 4 – 20cm long and wide. All species are monoecious with separate male and female flowers on the same plant. The flowers have a bell-shaped perianth consisting of a single series of fused lobes which is regarded as a calyx despite being brightly coloured in most species. The female flowers have five separate carpels that can each form a woody fruit containing several seeds. The flower colour is often variable within species. Eastern forest species drop their foliage before flowering but those of the drier regions carry the flowers while in leaf.
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