Several recent phylogenetic studies have shown that Schefflera is clearly polyphyletic, and that the Asian species belong to a single, well-supported, morphologically coherent clade. The name Schefflera will ultimately have to be restricted to a small group of species from the SW Pacific, while the Asian species will have to be transferred to one or more other genera[
Aralia abyssinica Hochst. ex A.Rich.
Astropanax abyssinicum (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Seem.
Astropanax elatus (K.Koch ex Hook.f.) Seem.
Heptapleurum abyssinicum (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Benth. ex Vatke
Heptapleurum elatum (K.Koch ex Hook.f.) Hiern
Paratropia elata K.Koch ex Hook.f.
Schefflera acutifoliolata De Wild.
Schefflera hookeriana Harms
Sciodaphyllum abyssinicum (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Miq.
Schefflera abyssinica is a tree with a large, spreading crown that can usually grow up to about 12 metres tall when free-standing. It often starts life as an epiphyte in the branch of another tree and can then eventually send down roots that grow into the ground, providing extra nutriment and allowing it to grow more vigorously and out-compete the host tree - in such circumstances plants up to 30 metres tall have been recorded. The bole, even of terrestrial trees, is often twisted[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. An attractive plant, it is sometimes grown as a living fence and as an ornamental[
Tropical Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon, DR Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia.
Mountain rainforest, often in secondary formations; gallery forest; transition to grassland; usually at elevations from 1,400 - 2,800 metres, but occasionally descending to 1,200 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The leaves and young shoots are pounded and used as medicine for small pox[
Some triterpene saponins have been isolated from the leaves[
The plant is used as a living fence[
The flowers are a good source of nectar and pollen for bees[
The heartwood is yellowish brown; it is indistinctly demarcated from the sapwood. The texture is coarse. The wood is light in weight, soft and easy to work. It is used for furniture, boxes, water pots and agricultural implements. It is suitable for the inner layers of plywood[
The wood is occasionally used for fuel[
Seed - it does not require pre-treatment, and usually starts to germinate within 2 weeks of sowing[
Cuttings - taken at the end of the rainy season[
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