Umbrella tree - Schefflera actinophylla

The Umbrella tree is native to Papua New Guinea which gives it a special importance for me because I grew up there until the age of 19. The pictures in this post were not taken in PNG however, they were taken where I currently live, in Malaga, Spain.
It turns out that this tropical tree is widely used here as an ornamental tree for avenues and gardens. I have also seen it used commonly as an indoor tree, valued as it is for its ornate leaves.
The flowers of the is tree are quite large, spreading out about two and a half feet (60-75cm). The flower has multiple arms like the legs of a long spider that branch out in all directions. Along these arms are multiple short offshoots where a cluster of bright red balls blossom into small red and yellow blossoms. The flowers end up turning black and the arms fall form the trees.
Although this tree can grow with a single trunk (below) it is far more common to see it split into multiple trunks right from ground level. The image above is the shape that most of these trees form in maturity which makes them more valuable as ornamental trees than as shade trees.
The leaves are palmatly compound and measure about 50 cm in diameter.

External links...


  1. Does anyone know the official name of a lila tree. I live in EL PASO, TX and grew up calling this tree that has green non edible berries on them, Lila trees. Thank you

  2. Great website w/ alot of beautiful pictures!! Thank you for sharing. Having moved to the Florida Keys from up North I was and still am blown away by seeing so many different houseplants I once had,which here are full grown trees! This Schefflera being one of them.They have absolutely amazing flowers. I have 3 recent cuttings in water which are beginning to root. I'll be planting them in a pot w/in the next couple days.Actually this will be my second attempt due to the huge iguana 'problem' we have. They eat everything!!! My newest tree I bought online is a Jacaranda, which i'll be looking up next here on ur site :)Thanks again!

  3. Chinaberry
    Melia azederach
    Origin: Asia