Schefflera arboricola

Schefflera arboricola.

The Dwarf umbrella tree, in Family Araliaceae is native to eastern Asia.
It is naturalised in S. E. Queensland and is commonly seen in Brisbane gardens.

They are evergreen multi-stemmed shrubs around 3 to 4 m high or small trees to around 8 m.
They may begin as an epiphyte on a tree then develop into a free-standing plant.
There are no hairs on the young stems.
The alternately arranged leaves are palmately divided into 7 or 9 (5 to 11) leaflets.
Leaves are on petioles up to around 20 cm long and the stipule is fused to the base.

Leaflets, on petiolules up to 3 cm or more in length are up to 10 or 12 cm long.
The glossy leaflets can be elliptic, oblong or ovate with a rounded or abruptly pointed tip.
The lower surface is paler, the edge is smooth and there are no hairs.

Terminal inflorescences are panicles of branched spikes each up to 30 cm long.
There may be a few stellate hairs on them.
Along each spike are small clusters (umbellules) up to 1 cm across with up to 10 flowers.
The greenish-white or greenish-yellow flowers are on pedicels a few mms long.

There is an annular calyx with no lobes.
The 5 pale greenish petals are around 2.5 mm long.
There are 5 (6) stamens that radiate outwards.
The ovary, of 5 or 6 fused carpels has the stigmas inserted on it as there are no styles.

The almost spherical fruit are drupes around 5 mm wide.
They have 5 or 6 ribs and mature from green to orange then dark reddish-purple.
The seeds are flattened laterally.

Schefflera arboricola ‘Variegata’.
These are dwarf shrubs only 1 to 2 m high with green and yellow leaves.