Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Australian ivy palm, Australian umbrella tree, Brassaia, Ivy palm, Lipstick palm, Octopus tree, Queensland umbrella tree, Schefflera, Umbrella plant, Umbrella tree

+ Tree Species

Schefflera actinophylla

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Schefflera actinophylla is native to northern Australia and southeastern New Guinea. A weed of closed forests, rainforests, open woodlands, waterways (i.e. riparian areas) and coastal environs in these areas. It is shade tolerant and invades disturbed or undisturbed forests and coastal bushland.It is widely grown in temperate climates as an ornamental houseplant. Schefflera will grow in full sun or partial shade on a wide variety of well-drained soils but require full sun to flower. Trees will display their best growth on rich, moist soil in a full sun location. In Kampala, Australian ivy palm can be found along Bukoto street, Jinja road within Sheraton gardens among other places.

+ Description

Medium-sized evergreentree, up to 15 m tall in natural habitat but only 8 m under cultivation, with single or multi-stemmed trunks.The thick branches are marked by conspicuous leaf-scars when they are young. They are dark green in color, and covered with whitish spots (i.e. lenticels).

BARK: greenish, older trunks in greyish or greyish-brown in color and relatively smooth.

 LEAVES: alternate with petioles up to 61 cm long, compound palmate, 7 - 16 stalks leaflets arranged in a whorl, leathery, oblong - elliptic in shape, shiny, light green, oblanceolate, up to 30 cm long, and entire margins (or sparsely toothed when young).

FLOWERS: borne in dense clusters 10 - 15 stiff and long stalks radiating from a single point, up to 60 cm in length that form a large, red, showy inflorescence at stem tips above foliage. Individual flowers red and small, 0.6 cm wide, bisexual, fragrant with 11 petals, 11 stamens and no sepals. 

FRUITS: purplish black, round, fleshy drupes up to 7 mm in diameter, containing up to 8 seeds.

+ Uses

An ornamental tree.

Can be planted as an indoor plant.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings and marcottin

+ Management

Fast-growing,multi-stemmed, needs to be trimmed to give a single trunk tree appearance. Plants will require very little pruning if given enough overhead space to develop. Trees may be topped as desired to create multi-level masses of foliage.

+ Remarks

This species has a dense root network that can pressurize building foundations and block plumbing joints and pipes in urban areas (Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2007). Seedlings may germinate in the crotches of large trees, and in this case the plant will grow as an epiphyte until its roots reach the ground.It has highly invasive behaviour in tropical and subtropical areas and is classified as a weed in the Global Compendium of Weeds (Randall, 2012).

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