Characteristics of Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola) in the Wild

Schefflera arboricola
The dwarf umbrella tree is a species of flowering plant from the Araliaceae family, native to Taiwan and Hainan. This tree is closely related to the Australian umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) which has larger leaves.

The dwarf umbrella tree is generally grown as an ornamental tree, it is very popular because of its tolerance to various poor growing conditions. The tree is also often planted as an indoor plant in homes and offices.

Parts of the dwarf umbrella tree are very poisonous if ingested, that’s because they contain very strong calcium oxalate. The poison is quite fatal for pets and toddlers. The effect of this toxic calcium oxalate can cause inflammation of the internal organs, especially the liver, kidneys, and digestive tract.

 
There are many cultivars of dwarf umbrella tree that have been chosen to be cultivated because they have economic value in the ornamental plant trade. Variations in leaf color and pattern, often creating cream-white (Variegata) leaves, and dwarf shapes. The Schefflera arboricola cultivar ‘Gold Capella’ is the only cultivar that has received an award from the Royal Horticultural Society.

 

Characteristics of Dwarf Umbrella Leaf

Schefflera arboricola Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Paco Garin

The leaves are palmately compound, with 7-9 leaflets, each leaf 9-20 cm long and 4-10 cm wide.

 

Characteristics of Dwarf Umbrella Flower

Schefflera arboricola Flower
Source : flickr.com/tommmyG

The flowers are small, each umbel 7-10 mm in diameter, and consist of 5-10 flowers.

 

Characteristics of Dwarf Umbrella Fruit

Schefflera arboricola Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Carol VanHook

The fruit is a small round, yellow, and grows in groups of up to hundreds.

 

Characteristics of Dwarf Umbrella Tree

Schefflera arboricola Tree
Source : flickr.com/tanetahi

The Dwarf umbrella tree grows in the form of a shrub that can reach a height of 10 meters. Its growth is similar to that of a tree from the Ficus family, that is, it sticks to the trunk of other trees and releases aerial roots / binding roots. When their aerial roots reach the ground, they are converted into fully functional roots.

Although the dwarf umbrella tree can be grown indoors and is often considered a popular indoor plant, it prefers to grow outdoors with moist soil and full sun. When dwarf umbrella trees are planted outside in the full sun, they will produce shiny green leaves which indicate their condition is very fresh and healthy.

 

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