11 Types of Schefflera and How They Are Different

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Published: March 14, 2024
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When it comes to nature, there are many species of a type of plant or animal.  For example, there are various species of tigers. In terms of flora, there is a genus of a certain plant with several species underneath. The Schefflera plant is no different. There are various species of the Schefflera plant, which is a flowering plant that belongs to the Araliaceae family. These plants are native to several islands in the Pacific Ocean, as well as New Zealand. The Schefflera plant was named after a Polish botanist and physician, Johann Peter Ernst von Scheffler. Let’s take a look at 11 types of Schefflera and how they are different. 

Alpine Schefflera

Schefflera alpina.

Out in the wild, the Alpine Schefflera can grow up to 65 feet tall.

©MichelR45/iStock via Getty Images

The Alpine Schefflera (Schefflera alpina) is native to the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean. The great thing about this white and green leaved plant is that it requires very little maintenance and can provide a more bright atmosphere in your home. The Alpine Schefflera is more compact, which is great for those who live in smaller places. These plants thrive in sunlight.

Australian Umbrella Tree

Close up of australian umbrella tree plant

These trees can grow up to 50 feet in height where they are native to in Oceania.

©Endah Widiarti/iStock via Getty Images

The Australian Umbrella Tree (Heptapleurum actinophyllum) is native to northern Australia, Java in Indonesia, and New Guinea. These plants can grow as a houseplant in sunny weather and if it’s humid, it’s best. You should also water them regularly and cut them during the winter season. The tree is also called an Amate Schefflera.

Dwarf Schefflera

schefflera, dwarf's umbrella houseplant close up

Another name for the dwarf schefflera is umbrella tree, which is another term to call the schefflera species of plants.

©Jana Milin/iStock via Getty Images

The dwarf schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) is a strong plant that is easy to take care of. Its leaves are green with gold and they tend to be more oval-shaped than other Schefflera plants. The dwarf Schefflera is native to Asia and Australia.

False Aralia

Plerandra elegantissima formerly called Schefflera and Dizygotheca, an evergreen tree plant. Indoor plants in flower pots, selective focus background

This plant belongs to the Araliaceae family.

©OlgaKorica/iStock via Getty Images

The False Aralia (Plerandra elegantissima) is native to New Caledonia, a French island territory in the South Pacific. The leaves of the False Aralia can grow to be much bigger than other Schefflera houseplants. These plants grow fantastically in sunlit areas and they should be watered regularly.

Frodin

Umbrella plant (Schefflera heptaphylla) or Ivy plant. In Indonesia, it is known as the Walisongo plant.

As a houseplant, the frodin only grows to about 10 feet tall and should have lots of sunlight and humidity.

©Aida Fiteri/Shutterstock.com

Out in the wild, these evergreen trees can grow up to 49 feet tall. The leaves of the frodin (Schefflera heptaphylla) are a dark green or dark red color, which is how they can be differentiated from other Schefflera trees. 

Gold Capella Schefflera

Schefflera variegated foliage "Gold Capella", Exotic tropical leaf, isolated on white background with clipping path

The plant should not be overwatered during the winter months, unlike the summer when it should be watered frequently.

©Dewin ‘ Indew/iStock via Getty Images

The Gold Capella Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) is a smaller version of other scheffleras and can grow up to 3 feet if kept indoors. The lifespan of the Gold Capella Schefflera is usually around 10 years if taken care of quite nicely.

Janine Schefflera

Schefflera Arboricola Janine plants or Umbrella Tree

The Janine Schefflera is native to Taiwan and Hainan Island in China.

©Galeh Nur Wihantara/iStock via Getty Images

The main difference between Janine Schefflera plants and others is that the Janine Schefflera (Heptapleurum arboricola) is smaller than the rest. This plant is great for making an apartment or condo brighter and more welcoming. The plant, however, requires indirect sunlight and a more humid environment so the soil remains moist.

Madame De Smet Schefflera

Schefflera Arboricola leaf

The plant loves being in warm and humid environments.

©Lisalyc/iStock via Getty Images

The Madame De Smet Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola ‘madam de smet’) is a smaller version of the regular Schefflera plant. The compact plant has glossy leaves that are mixed green and yellow. The indoor plant can grow quite rapidly, however, direct sunlight is not recommended because it can do extreme damage.

Octopus Schefflera

Flowers and leaves of Octopus tree (Schefflera actinophylla) on blue sky background.

The octopus Schefflera is also known by various other names including ivy palm and umbrella tree.

©Nick Alias/Shutterstock.com

This fantastic plant is quite different from other schefflera plants because when it blooms, pink blossoms sprout up. The beautiful octopus Schefflera (Schefflera actinophylla) can grow a whopping 40 feet tall in the wild. If you are going to have an octopus Schefflera as a house plant, it’s smart to have them in partial shade and partial sunlight.

Trinette Schefflera

young Schefflera Arboricola leaf

These plants can last for about 10 years as a houseplant if properly taken care of.

©Lisalyc/iStock via Getty Images

The Trinette Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) can grow up to 3 feet tall as a houseplant. Like all schefflera plants, they thrive in sunlight, which means that if you water them regularly and keep them in the sun, they will grow quite nicely. The Trinette Schefflera is native to Taiwan and Hainan province in China.

Taiwanese Schefflera

Taiwanese schefflera

The tree is native to Taiwan, hence the name.

©LiChieh Pan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) – License

The Taiwanese Schefflera (Heptapleurum taiwanianum) is a medium-sized tree that thrives in humid environments. They do well in a bit of light, but not intense sunlight. The leaves are different from other Schefflera trees because they are darker and have red stalks. Also, unlike other Schefflera trees, they can do well in colder weather.

Conclusion

And there you have it, these are seven types of Schefflera and how they differ from each other. Many of these Schefflera plants are absolutely beautiful. They serve as great plants to have at home to brighten up the atmosphere. When considering buying a Schefflera plant, make sure that you have a proper place to put it in to display it.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © M.photostock/ via Getty Images


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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