Tropical trees and shrubs with interesting dark glossy green to variegated palmate leaves. Some species, such as Schefflera actinophylla are used as coarse textured shade trees in the tropics, while Schefflera arboricola and Schefflera elegantissima are finer textured and often grown as shrubs. All of the above species are popular as interiorscape plants as they tolerate very low light levels and will adapt to indoor conditions. They can also be used as effective annual textural accents, either in the ground or in containers. The large flower and fruit structures, particularly those on S. actinophylla are an asset in tropical landscapes.
Plant Habit or Use:
Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree, medium tree, tropical, interiorscape
sun, partial sun, shade
Monoecious; pink to red; inflorescences with an elongated central spike surrounded by spoke like lateral spikes.
Spring, summer, fall
Red, purple-red, to black berry-like drupes.
6 ft to 30 ft (40 ft) in tropical climates; 4 ft to 8 ft as summer annuals.
6 ft to 25 ft(40 ft) in the tropics; 4 ft to 6 ft as summer annuals.
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown
- Heat Tolerance: Non-Defined Heat Tolerance
- Water Requirements: Non-Defined Water Use
- Soil Requirements: Non-Defined Soil Requirements
- Pest Tolerance: Non-Defined Pest Resistance
- Fertility Requirements: Non-Defined Fertility Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zones:
Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones
Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Schefflera species have become invasive in some tropical climates; some plants may function as dieback shrubs in very protected portions of USDA zone 9b; mealy bugs, scale insectes, spider mites, aphids and sooty mold are interiorscape and greenhouse pests, but are less problematic in the landscape.