It was a pleasure to see Schefflera actinophylla, also known as the Queensland umbrella tree, octopus tree and amate, in it’s native habitat in the wet tropical forests Queensland. In it’s native habitat it is often a early successional tree or common in disturbed or roadsides in rainforest. However, it also grows as hemiepiphyte on rainforest trees, like a strangler fig, except that it doesn’t appear to strangle it’s host.
The umbrella tree has gained an infamous reputation as an invasive tree in various tropical regions (e.g. Hawaii, Southeast Asia).
However, it is an attractive robust tree, with large glossy leaves and spectacular sprays of dark red flowers. These flowers are especially attractive close up.