Schefflera actinophylla

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Schefflera actinophylla (syn. Brassaia actinophylla) is a tree in the Araliaceae family. It is native to tropical rainforests and gallery forests in Australia (eastern Queensland and the Northern Territory), New Guinea and Java. Common names include Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree and Amate.

The elegant schefflera is popular with people who want a big, tree-size plant. In time it will easily reach seven or eight feet; in its home environment in Australia, it gets to be fifty feet tall.

Much of its appeal as a houseplant comes from the unusual leaves. A leaf is composed of a number of leaflets, all set in a circle around a central stem and stretching out horizontally, like the ribs of an umbrella. Eash leaflet is a pointy oval, size to eight inches long, and rich shiny green.

As it gets older, schefflera loses leaves from the lower part of the stem, increasing its tree shape.

The broad leaves tend to collect dust, and this in turn seems to be attractive to red spider mites. To help keep them under control, and to keep your plant looking its best, keep the leave dusted.

This will accommodate itself to our environment reasonable well. It will accept normal household temperatures, and adapts to different humidity levels. With enough sunlight and clean conditions the schefflera will last a long time.

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