False Aralia

False Aralia

Schefflera elegantissima

Common Name:

False Aralia

Scientific Name:

Schefflera elegantissima

Alternative common names:

Spider plant


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.

Additional Information

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.

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