Alternative common names:
False Aralia is a sparsely-branched, erect shrub to 3m or more, with leaves to 30cm in length, composed of radiating, narrow, toothed, dark bronze-green leaflets, becoming broader on adult plants. Leaf colour is coppery red at first, but changes to very deep green - in fact almost black. The central stem and leaf-stalks are mottled with creamy white.
Where does this species come from?New Caledonia
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA-Category 3
Where in South Africa is it a problem?Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
How does it spread?Fruit is dispersed by birds in its native range.
Why is it a problem?
False aralia are vulnerable to pests including mites, aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and white fly which affect native plants.
What does it look like?
Leaves: The green, digitate leaves are alternate. The linear leaflets are dentate and petiolate. The surface of the leaves is glabrous.
Flowers: It produces umbels of yellow five-stellate flowers from October to January. The trees carry ornamental black drupes.
Fruit/seeds: fleshy, brown seeds.
Does the plant have any uses?
Can be used as container or above-ground planter near a deck or patio; it is suitable for growing indoors as accent plant.