Heptapleurum arboricola (Syn Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Plant)

Heptapleurum arboricola (Syn. Schefflera arboricola) (Umbrella Plant) on 4-18-12, #87-13.

Umbrella Plant, Dwarf Umbrella Tree

Heptapleurum arboricola


Schefflera arboricola

shef-LER-uh ar-bor-ee-KO-luh

Synonyms of Heptapleurum arboricola (1) (Updated on 9-30-21 from Plants of the World Online): Schefflera arboricola (Hayata) Merr.

Heptapleurum arboricola Hayata is once again the correct and accepted scientific name of the Umbrella Plant. It was named and described as such by Bunzô Hayata in Icones Plantarum Formosanarum in 1916. It was named Schefflera arboricola by Elmer Drew Merrill in Lingnan Science Journal in 1928.

The genus, Heptapleurum Gaertn., was named and described as such by Joseph Gaertner in De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum in 1791.

The genus, Schefflera J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., was named and described by Johann Reinhold Forster and Johann Georg Adam Forster in Characteres Generum Plantarum, edition 2, in 1776.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 135 species in the Heptapleurum genus (as of 9-30-21 when this page was last updated). POWO now lists 202 species in the Schefflera genus as of 9-30-21. There were 501 species in the Schefflera genus when I last updated this page on 2-17-21 so I guess the botanists have been busy. It is a member of the plant family Araliaceae with 44 genera. Those numbers should change as updates are made by POWO.

Now I will have to change the links below… 


Heptapleurum arboricola (Syn. Schefflera arboricola) at 20″ tall on 10-28-12, #126-22.

I am not sure when I purchased this plant, possibly sometime in 2011 or even earlier. I really liked it and it gave me no problems. I gave it to a friend when I moved from the mansion in Mississippi to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013. I will probably have another one someday.

I’m not sure when the scientific name changed back to Heptapleurum arboricola from Schefflera arboricola. It will be confusing for a while and no doubt the industry will continue using the name Schefflera

Family: Araliaceae.
Origin: Hainan and Taiwan.
Zones: USDA Zones 10-12 (° F)
Size: Hmmm… Up to 25 FEET! Well, not that big in pots.
Light: Light to part shade
Soil: As a houseplant, they need a well-drained potting mix
Water: Allow soil to dry out between watering then water deeply. Reduce watering during the fall and winter months.

Although a lot of information online says they grow in full sun to part shade, I would recommend light (filtered) to part shade. It seems odd to say they tolerate full sun but needs protection from the sun during the heat of the day. Are you going to move your plant twice a day when it gets big?

They make great houseplants provided they aren’t in direct sun, such an eastern exposure or a window with a curtain covering the window but still allows bright light.

Where this plant is a native, it grows as an evergreen tree up to 25 feet tall. They sometimes grow on other trees as an epiphyte.

As with all plants grown inside in dry conditions during the winter, you need to watch for red spider mites. Watch for mealybugs, aphids, and thrips anytime.

To keep this plant looking its best, mist with water on occasion to increase humidity or place their pot on a shallow pan of rocks with water. Clean the leaves from time to time as well.

This plant is very low maintenance and is well known for tolerating neglect. Just keep it away from children who may put the leaves in their mouths.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.

I will work on the links below as most of them are for Schefflera arboricola… 


4 comments on “Heptapleurum arboricola (Syn Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Plant)

  1. Kiri says:

    Thanks for all your information! I am looking for something just like this. Just wondering if it’s cat friendly. ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brenda Burks says:

    Can you tell me how to prune? I have one branch across my living room about 6ft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Brenda! WOW! You must have a big one. Mine never got that big but I have seen some that are very HUGE. You can cut the stems all the way to 6-8 inches from the soil just above where an old leaf node was. You can also just trim it using your immigination about how you want it to look with new growth. How tall do you want it and how wide and go from there. I don’t know what yours looks like, but many that get big have bare stems due to lack of light (from the shade of its own leaves). Once you cut the stem new leaves and branches will form. I am sure there are several links online and likely several videos on YouTube about the subject that could help. Thanks for visiting and thanks for asking, Take care!


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