On a recent visit to the Madrid zoo a came across an interesting tree species that I had never seen before. It is called the Chinese Parasol tree and is located right in front of the Baboon exhibit which makes it practically invisible to most visitors as the Baboons have a knack for keeping everyone´s fixed on their rowdy behavior.
So while everyone else was watching the Baboons I was observing the tree that everyone had their back to. I would have guessed that this tree species was related to the Brachychitons if it were not for the sign at the base of the tree that gave away its true identity (see image below). The leaves, seed pods, and tree shape seem very similar to the Kurajongs to me. As it turns out they are both in the same plant family Sterculiaceae.
The leaves of the Chinese Parasol tree (Firmania simplex) are large (30cm) and the ones I saw had three lobes. The cluster of seed pods looked very similar to the Brachychitons. The green bark looked very similar to that of the Lacebark Kurrajong.
From the graphic on the sign below it seems that the opened seed pods are quite different from those of the Kurrajongs. I´ll have to check back on this tree in the weeks ahead to see how the fruit forms.