Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Schefflera actinophylla
(Endl.) Harms, Araliaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))
Reject, score: 14 (Go to the risk assessment (U.S. (Florida)))

Other Latin names:  Brassaia actinophylla Endlicher

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Australian umbrella tree, ivy palm, octopus tree, Queensland umbrella tree, starleaf, umbrella tree

French: arbre ombelle, arbre-pieuvre

Pohnpeian: tuhke kihs

Spanish: cheflera

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A megaphyllous tree to 6-9 m tall with ascending think branches marked by conspicuous leaf-scars, sometimes epiptic; leaves palmate, of 7-15, usually of 9 leaflets, main petioles 15-45 cm long, petiolules 2.5-8 cm long, leaflets mostly 10-20 cm long, elliptic-obovate, subacuminate, the central ones longest, all glabrous, dark green, coriaceous; flowers in small heads arranged more or less spicate-racemosely along stout elongate axces to 80 cm long, several of which radiate from a central hublike axis; flowers red; fruit 10-12-seeded, nutlets purple" (Stone, 1970; p. 458).

Habitat/ecology:  This fast-growing, evergreen tree with few branches reaches heights of 15 m. It is a shade tolerant plant capable of invading undisturbed forests.  It grows up to 1,000 m elevation in wet lowland habitats (C. W. Smith, 1985; pp. 186-187).  Forms dense thickets.  Seeds often germinate in the old leaf bases of palms or in the crotches of large trees, growing as epiphytes until roots reach the ground (Randall & Marinelli, 1996).  In Hawai‘i, naturalized in relatively low elevation, mesic, disturbed areas" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 232).  In Fiji, "cultivated and also naturalized in secondary forest at low elevation"  (A. C. Smith, 1985; pp. 852-853). In New Caledonia, "assez commun dans les jardins, surtout à Nouméa" (MacKee, 1994; p. 19). "In coastal Queensland [where it is native] it thrives in moist areas or those receiving rainfall runoff, where it dominates native woodland and low forest by casting dense shade and dropping many persistent leathery leaves" (Swarbrick, 1997; p. 63).

Propagation:  Bird-dispersed fleshy fruits, cuttings. "The seeds are dispersed by birds and normally germinate on the soil surface.  The seeds may also germinate epiphytically, where the plant can grow rather like a strangling fig." (Swarbrick, 1997; p. 63).

Native range:  Australia, Aur Islands, New Guinea; widely grown as an ornamental.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 37)
Uncommon.
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 89)
"Potential invader"
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 12)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 71)
Invasive species.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (pp. 652-653)
Vouchers cited: DF 495 (Damanu 134), DA 11241, DA 16772
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 14503)
Taxon name on voucher: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) Harms
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 32901)
Taxon name on voucher: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) Harms
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 694449)
Taxon name on voucher: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) Harms
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (pp. 44-45)
Voucher cited: BRY 26471
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2682 (PAP)
Naturalisée, menace pour la biodiversité.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 458)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 199)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 232)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 232)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 19)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H100634 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 232)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2002) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: B.H. Gagne 3154 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 232)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 199)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 199)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 98)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 67)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (pp. 96-97)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 58672 (US)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 19)
Vouchers cited: Baumann 6817, MacKee 30282
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island eradicated
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 7, 82)
Known examples have been eradicated.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island eradicated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 9)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 10)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 107)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 56)
Bird Park
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-13)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 080601-14
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1992) (voucher ID: BISH 631640)
Taxon name on voucher: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) Harms
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1992) (voucher ID: BISH 1000119)
Taxon name on voucher: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) Harms
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Palmyra Atoll
Palmyra Atoll   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 37221)
Taxon name on voucher: Schefflera actinophylla (Endl.) Harms
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2007) (pp. 12, 31)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 77)
Casual
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (pp. 63, 127)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Naturalisée, potentiellement envahissant.
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
cultivated
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Very invasive in Hawai‘i. Invades disturbed forest in Micronesia and French Polynesia.

Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Hunsberger, 2001).

Control: 

Physical: Pull seedlings and young saplings by hand. "Difficult to control mechanically because the roots break when being pulled"  (Englberger, 2009; p. 7).

Chemical:  "Only marginally susceptible to triclopyr and dicamba; somewhat tolerant of glyphosate applied to drilled holes in base.  Kline and Duquesnel reported that triclopyr applied basal bark or to cut surface was only moderately effective and that repeat treatments would be necessary.  However, basal bark applications or cut-stump applications of triclopyr have been recommended"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Glyphosate (Roundup) or triclopyr (Garlon 4) can be used as foliar application on young seedlings.  For trees, cut notches into the cambium around the stem and apply undiluted herbicide"  (Englberger, 2009; p. 7).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.