The Illawarra Flame Tree grows in the wild from the Illawarra area of southern coastal New South Wales north into Queensland and is one of the few deciduous Australian native trees, albeit uniquely losing its leaves in the dry season just prior to flowering, rather than in winter. Somewhat irregular in its flowering, leaves may persist all year with spot flowering occuring concurrently with foliage. A site to behold in full flower, the flaming red bell shaped flowers in pendulous clusters light up the landscape, particularly dotted among the glossy green canopy of other evergreen rainforest species. Linked to Grafton through the renowned Cold Chisel anthem, Flame trees flower at the same time as Jacarandas for a spectacular blaze of purple and red. It is said that the inner bark of flame trees was used by indigenous Australians to make string, fishing nets and traps, as well as being a food resource. This statuesque native is perfect for a feature or avenue planting.
Plant in full sun and water regularly during establishment. Be patient - flowering can be sporadic, but it's worth the wait. Wear gloves when disposing of the hairy seed pods.