Schefflera actinophylla

Queensland umbrella tree

Family: Araliaceae

Origin: Australia

A cluster of leaves at the top of the Queensland umbrella tree.
Originating from Australia, this tree suits warm tropical environments. Long green glossy leaves have white central veins, and form on red stems.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Multi-stemmed tree < 10 m tall, can grow as epiphyte. Leaves are large, glossy and digitately compound, with leaflets < 30 cm. Flowers are red/pink and borne in large branched clusters near the top of the tree. Fruit is round and fleshy.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2022, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell Queensland umbrella tree within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant Queensland umbrella tree within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any Queensland umbrella tree on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Forest, swamps, riparian margins, rocky outcrops, coastal areas, urban areas.


Seeds dispersed by birds, possibly by mammals and water. Human-mediated dispersal through deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Potential to competitively exclude native vegetation. May compete with the closely related taonga species patete (S. digitata).


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel or ringbark stem and paste with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray seedlings with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Queensland umbrella tree canopy.
Flowers form at the top of the canopy and are on long red branches. Fruit is round and fleshy and it is attractive to birds.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Close up of queensland umbrella tree fruit.
Part of the Schefflera family this plant may compete with the native Schefflera. Fruit may also be food for possums and rats.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Close up of Queensland umbrella tree fruit.
Trees can be hand pulled when young. Larger trees can be felled and the stumps treated with herbicide.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow