Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Schefflera bractescens Ridl.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Inflorescence and flowers. © CSIRO
Habit, leaves and flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and flowers [not vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO

Ridley, H.N. (1914) Journal Botany 52: 290. Type: New Guinea.

Common name

Pascoe Umbrella


Usually grows into a tree seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Blaze odour resembling carrots (Daucus carota). Often grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte.


Stipules densely hairy and attached to the base of the compound leaf petiole but between it and the twig. One stipule per leaf. Leaf bearing twigs stout, usually more than 2 cm diameter. Leaflet blades about 10-30 x 8-12 cm. Stellate hairs usually visible on the underside of the young leaflet blades.


Inflorescence large, individual branches 40 cm long or longer. Flowers produced in umbels arranged in racemes and large panicles. Flowers on pedicels about 3-4 mm long. Perianth tube about 2-2.5 mm diameter at the apex. Stamens five, filaments about 2 mm long. Ovary +/- rounded, but not hemispherical at the apex, stigma sessile.


Individual fruits quite separate, ovoid, about 4-5 x 4 mm. Seeds +/- obliquely ellipsoid, about 3-4 x 1.5 mm, about five per fruit. Embryo about 2.5-3 x 1 mm. Cotyledons wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons elliptic or oblong, about 12-15 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflets ovate to obovoid, apex acuminate, base obtuse, sometimes with 1 or 2 very small inconspicuous teeth on each side, glabrous; petiole often with a few white stellate hairs at the base and apex; stipules triangular, the apex acuminate, axillary, attached to the base of the petiole, clothed in white stellate and simple hairs. Seed germination time 18 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, restricted to the Iron Range and McIlwraith Range areas, and in the northern part of NEQ where is recorded from Cape Melville. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 600 m. This species can grow as a normal tree but frequently grows as an epiphyte in rain forest or as a lithophyte on sparsely vegetated granite boulders. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Schefflera versteegii Harms, Nova Guinea 8: 272(1910), Type: Niederl. Neu-Guinea: an dem Noordfluss: G. M. VERSTEEG n. 1020 bl. am 8. Mai 1907; an dem Noordfluss bei Van. Weelskamp: G. M. VERSTEEG n. 1205.
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