Queensland umbrella tree

Queensland umbrella tree

Schefflera actinophylla

Common Name:

Queensland umbrella tree

Scientific Name:

Schefflera actinophylla


Alternative common names:

Australian ivy palm, octopus tree, umbrella tree.

Description:

The Queensland umbrella is a multi-stemmed tree growing up to 10m tall that occasionally grows as an epiphyte. The very large compound leaves are umbrella-like, with several glossy leaflets radiating from the same point. Small red flowers are borne in very large, branched flower clusters at the top of the plant. The small fruits turn dark red or dark purple as they mature.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Australia.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

How does it spread?

Dried fruits and seeds float readily in water and have a high level of dormancy.

Why is it a problem?

It invades national parks, remnant bush land, undisturbed forests and reserves, causing harm to the fauna and flora of local ecosystems. Roots can pressurise building foundations and block plumbing joints and pipes.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Compound with stalks up to 40cm long.

Flowers: Flowers are held on radiating spikes like an umbrella above the leaves, up to 60cm long. Petals are red, 3-5mm long and number between 7-18, but usually 12. There are the same number of stamens as petals.

Fruit/seeds: Fruit is dark red, ribbed, 3-5mm long with a single seed.
Seeds are pale brown, oval, 4mm wide, 10mm long.

Does the plant have any uses?

Used as an ornamental tree.

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