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Octopus Tree, Queensland Umbrella Tree
Scientific Name: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) H.A.T. Harms
Synonym: Brassaia actinophylla
Family: Araliaceae
Octopus Tree, Queensland Umbrella Tree (Schefflera  actinophylla)
Schefflera actinophylla, Sarasota Florida, Photo by Forest & Kim Starr
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 13,16-27
USDA: 10-12

Frost Tolerance: Avoid frost

Heat Tolerance: Afternoon light shade in the hot areas

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: Australia, New Guinea and Java, in tropical rainforests

Growth Habits: Evergreen tree, up to 40 feet tall (12 m); bright shiny green leaves, palmately compound with 7 leaflets; aggressive root system.

Watering Needs: Moderate to regular water

Propagation: Easy by cuttings or seeds


The genus is named after J.C. Scheffler, 19th century botanist.
The octopus tree gives a very tropical look to a garden, but you might want to select the location carefully. Mature trees continually shed leaves, and their root system is very aggressive. The fleshy fruits are eaten by the birds who then drops seeds in many locations where the tree is not wanted. It is considered and invasive species in Florida.

Blooming Habits:
The octopus tree bears showy deep red flowers, long racemes from the top of the foliage, in summer on mature trees

Fruiting Habits:


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