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Australian Ivy Palm Schefflera actinophylla

Other plants called Australian Ivy Palm:

Previously known as:

  • Brassaia actinophylla
  • Brassaia singaporensis
Phonetic Spelling
shef-LER-uh ak-ten-oh-FIL-uh
Description

Umbrella tree grows to 50 feet in its native habitat of Australia and New Guinea. In NC it grows as a houseplant in bright sunny, high humidity locations. It can be pruned to control the size. It does best with protection from hot afternoon sun.  Water regularly and then cut back in the winter.  Plants can be grown in protected locations outdoors in containers but must be brought in over the winter.

It is reported as an exotic pest plant in Florida.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems but suffers occasionally from aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and scale.  Bacterial leaf spot and soft rot occur when soils are too wet.

Quick ID

  • Shrub/small tree with palmately compound leaves
  • Stalked leaflets are broad, sparsely dentately toothed above middle
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#black#partial shade#houseplant#container plant#interiorscape#large leaves#low maintenance#showy fruits#potted plant#black fruits#fantz#humidity tolerant#patio planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Variegata'
    Variegated leaves
'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#black#partial shade#houseplant#container plant#interiorscape#large leaves#low maintenance#showy fruits#potted plant#black fruits#fantz#humidity tolerant#patio planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Schefflera
    Species:
    actinophylla
    Family:
    Araliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. New Guinea to N. Australia, Java
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is reddish-purple half-inch drupes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1-inch red flowers appear on compact umbrels that are held above the foliage and are arranged like the ribs of an inverted umbrella, or like the tentacles of an octopus. Rarely blooms as a houseplant but may if grown outdoors in the summer sun.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are palmately compound with 7-16 leaflets in terminal rosettes to 11.5 by 4 inches. They are oblong, entire below middle to sparsely, minutely dentately toothed above the middle. They are bright green and glossy; petiolules elongate, conspicuous. Indoor plants the leaves will be smaller at 4-6 inches long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are shiny green and become brown and woody. Branches are few, short, often apically.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses