Schefflera actinophylla (ARALIACEAE) Umbrella Tree

Weeds to Whack

Native to North Queensland and New Guinea, more often an epiphyte in its natural habitat than it is in South-East Queensland where it was once a popular garden tree and pot plant. Problems with its invasive roots and its tendency to colonise rainforest have led to it falling out of favour. It is shade tolerant and fast growing. The branches have obvious leaf scars. Leaves are compound, with up to 15 leaflets growing from a central point. They are glossy and hairless. Large showy inflorescences (flower clusters) radiate from a central point with groups of bright red flowers in clusters along large spikes. Fruit turn dark purple when mature.

Photo: Matt Tomkins