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Schefflera umbellifera

   (Family: Araliaceae)
Afrikaans: Valskiepersol English: False cabbage tree N. Sotho: mosetshe Swazi: umSengambuti Xhosa: UmSenge, UmKisiso Zulu: umSenge, umGezisa, umBumbu, umBegele, umSengembuzi  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 6 - 20m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred altitude: 0 - 1200m
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Biome: Forest
Flowering time EDIT
x x x x x              
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower shape
  Flower info
  Small, pale yellow flowers are borne in large, branched, terminal heads of up to 180 mm in diameter. The tree is very attractive when in flower, as the heads stand out well above the leaves.
Leaf margin
  Leaf info EDIT
  Partially Evergreen
  The leaves are clustered at the ends of the branches. The leaves are compound, digitate (leaflets arranged like a hand), with 3-5 oblong leaflets, leathery, glossy dark green above, paler beneath. The midrib is flat above and raised beneath. The leaf margins are very wavy, entire or serrated in the upper part, with a broadly pointed or notched tip. The leaf stalk is up to 200 mm long.
Fruit colour
Fruit size Width: 3mm
  Seed info EDIT
  The fruits are dark red, small, about 3 mm in diameter and round, appearing from June to August.
Description EDIT
This tree is an upright tree with a rounded crown suitable for a courtyard or gardens with limited space. It was selected as one of the South African Trees of the Year for 2005.

A semi-deciduous tree of 6-20 m in height. It has a tall, straight, usually unbranched main stem, 0.6 m in diameter, and a much-branched, rounded crown. The stem has a rough, longitudinally fissured and grey-brown bark.
Growing EDIT
This is not a tree for very dry areas and as it has large thick roots, it should not be planted too close to buildings, pools or paving.

The tree is best grown from seeds. According to Elsa Pooley (1993), the seed that has been eaten by birds germinate best, as the acidic juices within the digestive system of the bird promote germination. Seeds are sown in a sandy loam soil mix in a seed tray. The tray should be kept moist and placed in a warm place for better germination. The seeds should take 4 to 6 weeks to germinate. The seedlings have simple leaves. Protect seedlings and young trees from frost. The adult trees should survive moderate frosts.
Distribution EDIT
This tree is found in tall, moist, warm forest and in dry forest and on grassy hills, from the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It also thrives at the coast up to an altitude of 1 200 m above sea level.
History EDIT
The wood of Schefflera umbellifera is white, soft and light and was used for making matches.

The leaves are used medicinally to treat a wide variety of ailments such as insanity, rheumatism, stomachache, and malaria.

a beautiful tree for gardens large and small. Its tall stem and round crown make it ideal for a shade tree.
Ecology EDIT
The flowers are visited by a number of insects that pollinate the flowers. The fruits are eaten by birds and this helps in seed dispersal.
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