Australian Umbrella Tree, Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree, Brassaia actinophylla, Schefflera actinophylla
tree of the family Araliaceae
Origin: Australia, New Guinea, Java
Height: 1m if it is growing in a flat, 13 m in its origin region.
Soil: Brassaia requests a (sandy) filterable, very porous, healthy, slightly acid soil.
Position:sunny, half-shade; no resistance to freezing.
Persistent, dark green leaves, up to 1 m long, lanceolate, glossy on top, fitted with a long petiole. They are grouped by 7. The Schefflera loses its leaves all year through.
Small, red flowers, grafted along a stem and divided into umbels
Propagation: cutting in the water in spring, layering, seedling after tempering. Schefflera spreads easily. Its roots are strong and aggressive.
Maintenance: in apartments this plant often has tendency to loose leaves at the base and needs a temperature of 15 °C to 22°C. Misting from time to time the foliage of Brassaia if it is warm, takes it out to half-shade in summer.
There are varieties of dwarf Schefflera:
Schefflera arborcola, native to Taiwan,
Schefflera farinosa, native to Malaysia and Indonesia; variegated leaves.
Schefflera digitata, native to New Zealand.