The Bottle Tree

One of the most distinctive of Queensland trees is the bottle tree (Brachychiton rupestris). Look for it's round bulbous trunk, shaped rather like a skittle, with green bark (which turns grey in older specimens).  The name of the bottle tree can be taken literally, as there is a significant amount of water stored between the inner bark and the trunk. Aboriginals historically carved holes into the soft bark to create reservoir-like structures. The seeds, roots, stems, and bark have all traditionally been a source of food for people and animals alike. Another use has been made of the fibrous inner bark to make twine or rope and even woven together to make fishing nets.  For the cattle industry the tree may be pulled as the fibrous trunk can provide fodder in times of drought.