Dwarf Umbrella Tree – Schefflera arboricola or S. spp.

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Dwarf Umbrella Tree – Schefflera arboricola or S. spp.

Common Name: Dwarf Umbrella Tree, Dwarf Schefflera

Botanical Name: Schefflera arboricola or S. spp., shef-LER-ah ar-bor-i-CO-la

Decorative Life: Years.


Harvest Instructions:

Acclimatized plants grown under reduced light levels performed better than those grown under higher light levels.

Family Roots:
  • Member of the Araliaceae (aralia or ginseng family).
  • Native to the China, Taiwan, Vietnam regions.
  • Common relatives include aralia, false aralia, ginseng and English-ivy.
  • Classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Leaves are on long stalks and divided into 7-16 leaflets that radiate out like umbrella ribs.
  • Stems are somewhat woody.
Storage Specifics:

Not very chill sensitive, but it is still recommended that this species be stored above 45 degrees F. Leaf drop is greater and plant grade lower as the duration of dark storage at 68F is increased from 0-12 days.

  • The specific epithet name “arboricola” means tree-like.
  • This species is much more tolerant to low temperatures and low light levels than its relative, S. actinophylla. For this and other reasons, S. arboricola is a much better interior plant than S. actinophylla.
  • Named after J. G. Scheffler (1722-1811), a physician in Danzig.
  • Will generally grow well in light levels bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort but more light would be better (>100 ft-c.). One report states (no data included) that the leaf pathogen Xanthomonas can be controlled by sprays of vinegar at about 1.5 ounces per gallon of water.
  • Cytokinins generally retard flower or plant death. Yellow leaves of this species contain about ten times more cytokinins than green ones. What this might have to do with leaf senescence (if anything) is unknown at this time.
Recent Research Findings:

Poole and Conover (1993) stored this species at 36-46F from 1-4 days and subsequently noted no damage. As summarized by Brown (1988) of the work by Wolverton et al. (numerous years), this is one of many foliage and flowering plant species that can remove air pollutants such as formaldehyde and/or benzene often found in cigarette smoke from interior environments.