Thursday, January 21, 2016


When I came to "U" I wondered what I would find that I could call a 'garden' flower but then I remembered umbrella trees, the large variety and the dwarf.  Their flowers are somewhat different but at least they do have flowers.

Schefflera actinophylla is a tree in the Aralicaceae family.  It is native to tropical rainforests and gallery forests in Australia (eastern Queensland and the Northern Territory, new Guinea and Java.  Common names include Queensland umbrella tree, octopus tree and amate.

I can remember many years ago that it seemed every garden in Perth had one of these umbrella trees.   There are still many to be seen in older suburbs and it is their beautiful red flowers that I have always admired.  I understand they are considered a 'pest weed' in parts of Queensland.

Schefflera arboricola (syn. Heptapleurum arboicolum) is a flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to Taiwan as well as Hainan.   It's common name is Dwarf Umbrella Tree, as it appears to be a smaller version of the Umbrella Tree Schefflera actinophylla.

We have two 'dwarf' umbrella trees, one in the front garden and one, outside my window here, in the back garden.  It is currently covered with buds:

which very soon will burst into these tiny flowers:

 Not very impressive perhaps, although when the tree is covered with them they look quite spectacular.

I bought both of my 'dwarf' umbrella trees to grow as pot plants but when they got bigger and bigger we decided they show be planted in the garden.   Now they are as high as the house and the term 'dwarf' seems rather incongruous for such a big tree.  They are very good natured and seem not to need a lot of water or care.   You can prune them back and very quickly they will grow again until it is impossible to see where they were pruned.

When it comes to the "V" of flowers I feel I won't have quite as much difficulty as I did with "U".

Can you think of a flower beginning with "U" that perhaps I've not heard of.  Would be interested to know what it is.


  1. many dwarf trees will grow to be quite large when planted out of pots, in this case, I think maybe the "dwarf" part refers to the leaf structure which is smaller and rounder than on the larger umbrella trees. I've had both over the years, the dwarf in a large pot in the carport of my previous home and a large one in the yard of a home we rented in Melbourne.

    1. Yes, like a little palm tree we had in a pot which I decided to plant in the ground. It now towers over the front garden and must be 20 feet high. Turned out it was a cotton palm. I had a quote for removing it and they said about $1,000 so there it stays. There are several in our area so it doesn't look altogether out of place.

  2. Hari om
    Good choice...where choice is limited!!! YAM xx

  3. U is for Upright Virgins Bower, Utah Agave and Ugly Fruit.

    1. Actually Delores I did find the second one when I searched but didn't use it as I would have listed it under agave. The first and last didn't even show but then perhaps they are from the Americas and not our area or perhaps the last a sort of nickname. Thanks for the list though. I was appreciated and I will check them out.

  4. How beautiful those flowers, which I never knew it even had!...:)JP

  5. They are very lovely but are often so high up on the larger plant that they are difficult to see in detail.