Queensland Umbrella Tree
Octopus Tree

Schefflera actinophylla
(Brassaia actinophylla)

Australian Umbrella Tree, Schefflera actinophylla, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in a Nairobi neighborhood and in bloom during April 2011.

This striking tree catches the attention on account of its novel branching pattern, huge palmate leaves, and grand inflorescences of red flowers.

This tree is native to Queensland, Australia and parts of Indonesia. I found it widely planted in places from Nairobi to Eldoret. Notice that in the photo few of the leaves are seen with holes made by insects. For a gardener this might seem like a big advantage, but his garden will be more silent because without caterpillars or crickets, many fewer birds will find this tree to their liking. There simply is not enough high protein food to eat. The fruit, however, are consumed by many bird species.

Araliaceae -- Aralia Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 17 July 2011