Common Names
Octopus Tree, Umbrella Tree

Hawaiian Name

Scientific Name
Schefflera actinophylla



Whole Plant


Octopus Tree


Tree Bark

Location On Campus

The octopus tree can be located between Kaiona rooms 51 and 52.

Natural Habitat

  This plant or tree is usually found in all mountain elevations on Kaua‘i, Maui, O'ahu, and Hawai‘i. It usually grows in tropical areas.

Cultural Information

  The Octopus tree is introduced and is native to Australia, and now Guinea. The Hawaiians only used the tree's flowers for decoration.

Plant Description


  • Thick brown roots and can grow through the soil or ground in long ranges


  • Woody stem
  • Can grow from 6-9 meters long or high


  • Bright green color
  • Grows from 6-12 mm long


  • Pink color
  • Arm like figures that resemble an octopus


  • Fleshy considered a drupe
  • Grows 3-12 cm big


  • Come from the fruit in packs of ten
  • Hard coated and don't grow very big in size


  •  Insects such as bees and flies
  • Birds

Life Cycle/

  • Growth depends on it's environment
  • Can live more than 20 years of age


  •  Plant in a pot with not too much soil
  • Water moderately

Interesting facts:

  • Widely cultivated outdoors
  • Commonly grown indoors
  • Can survive in way different temperatures because it can adapt to its environment fast

Web Site Links

Pacific Island Ecosystem

This website tells a lot of information on the octopus tree and includes some pictures. It also includes details with specific areas of the tree.

Foliage Plant Research Note

This website is all about the octopus tree. You can also explore about different subjects such as other native and non-native plants of Hawai‘i.


Belknap, Parry. Majesty. Honolulu: The Outdoor Circle Press, 1982.

Foliage Plant Research Note RH-91-31R.T. Poole, A.R. Chase and L.S. Osborne. Web Manager.21 Feb. 2003. University of Florida, IFASCentral Florida,11 April, 2003. <>

Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) Stone, Benjamin, Web manager. 7 Feb. 2002 University of Hawaii's Botany Department,11 April, 2003. <>

Sohmer, Wanger. Manual of life Flowering Plants of Hawaii revised Addition Vol#1 and Vol#2. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1990.

Tropical Plants Library. Masters Gardening Landscaping 11 April, 2003. <>

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