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Ask The Expert: What Is This ‘Uniquely Twisted’ Houseplant?

Ask The Expert: This woody, palmate, rounded lance-shaped leaf plant grew out of a viney, heart-shaped alternate-leafed pathos.  More than once.  This is the only one I saved.  My friend has one about six feet tall, and she said it was an “elephant- bush”, or something, but I can’t find anything like it.  The trunk is uniquely twisted, or meandering.  The other identifying info on the trunk is that it is layered, like some palms, like a grass. -David

Dwarf Umbrella Tree - Schefflera arboricola

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert Reply: David, what I believe you have there is a Schefflera actinophylla (also called Brassica actinophylla), also know as “green Schefflera” or “octopus tree.” A hardy, evergreen shrub that is popular as a houseplant. It can withstand tough conditions making it perfect for any living arrangement. A green Schefflera in good condition looks more like this:

Green Schefflera House Plant

You said your friend’s green Schefflera tree is ‘uniquely twisted’, this is not surprising. This type of tree is easy to shape and lends itself well to bonsai art.

This plant flourishes in a lot of light. Green Schefflera require an evenly moist environment. Water moderately during growth and keep only moist to the touch in winter. For more, go to Green Schefflera House Plant Care and Information.

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  1. Janie Hartsfield says:

    What is the correct way to twist a Schefflera?

  2. Jamie Woods says:

    I have never twisted a Schefflera, but I do know they work well for Bonsai art. You may take a look at these techniques for wiring branches and try them to twist your Schefflera.

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