Deciduous tree, up to 35 m high, but much smaller when grown in gardens and in cooler areas where it reaches a height of only about 10 m. It can take 5 – 8 years to flower if grown from a seed.
Smooth, oval-shaped and can have three or five lobes (and sometimes more). Each leaf is 10 – 30 cm long. The tree loses some or all of its leaves at the end of winter, before flowering, and the leaves turn yellow just before falling.
Bright coral-red and bell-shaped, they occur in clusters at the end of branches. They are 1 – 2 cm long and have a waxy surface. They appear after the tree has lost all or some of its leaves.
A dark-brown seed pod which is tough, leathery and about 10 cm long. It contains rows of corn-like seeds that are surrounded by hairs.
NOTE: the hairs within the seed pod can irritate the skin and are easily inhaled, so it is not advisable to handle any open seed pods.