Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Dwarf umbrella tree, umbrella shrub, star leaf.

+ Tree Species

Schefflera arboricola

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Dwarf umbrella tree is native to eastern Asia (i.e. China and Taiwan). It tolerates shade, but in coastal areas it grows best with either full sun or dappled shade. Avoid planting it in a location where the soil becomes wet or waterlogged after a rain. It is also heat-tolerant, but it should not be exposed to temperatures below freezing. In Kampala, this tree can be found within Makerere university.

+ Description

Dwarf umbrella tree is an evergreen shrub, sometimes adopting a more climbing habit, with stems up to 6 meters tall. It is smooth and hairless plant.

BARK: Smooth, green or grey green.

LEAVES: palmately compound, each leaf containing 7-9 leaflets, obovate-oblong to elliptic in shape and measuring 10 - 15 cm long. 

FLOWERS: Red tiny flowers borne in a compound panicle.

FRUIT: orange drupe which becomes black upon maturity.

+ Uses

Medicine: bark, resin, and leaves. https://sites.google.com/site/medicinalplantshealing/list-of-plants/umbrella-shrub

Agroforestry: can be grown as a hedge.

An ornamental plant.

Can be grown as a house plant.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings, air layering.

+ Management

The umbrella tree is a fast growing species. Needs punning and if the tree becomes leggy or you want to encourage a bushy appearance to grow, pinch growing tips. Fertilize container-grown plants occasionally with a water-soluble or a time-release houseplant fertilizer, though plants in shade require less frequent fertilization than those in full sun. Use insecticides to prevent insects from destroying foliage incase the species is grown indoor. You can water schefflera as needed, but avoid over-watering it. Add mulch around the shrub will help control moisture and add nutrients to the soil.

+ Remarks

Schefflera is toxic if ingested, and its leaves and plant sap can cause minor skin irritation on contact. Toxicity is generally low and skin irritation rarely lasts longer than a few minutes, but Schefflera may be a plant to avoid if you have children. They are also grown as bonsai trees.

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