Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Schefflera elliptica (Blume) Harms

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Flowers. © Barry Jago
Fruits and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Vine stem bark and vine stem bark transverse section. © CSIRO

Harms, H.A.T. (1894) Engl. & Prantl, Naturl. Pflanzenfam. 8: 39.

Common name

Galamai-Amo; Climbing Umbrella Plant; Climbing Umbrella Tree


Vine stem diameters to 9 cm recorded. Blaze odour conspicuous, rather spicy.


Stipules produced between the base of the petiole and the stem. Leaflet blades about 9-15 x 6.5-7.5 cm, leaflet stalks about 4-6 cm long.


Inflorescence up to 24 cm long. Calyx cupular, lobes very small and inconspicuous. Petals about 2 mm long. Anthers about 1 mm long, filaments about 2.5 mm long. Stigmas appear to be no more than dots on the surface of the ovary.


Fruits globose, about 6 mm diam., apex flattened, sometimes spotted. Seeds usually five or six per fruit, sometimes only two or three. Seeds flattened, ellipsoidal, about 3-4 x 2-2.5 mm. Testa surface tuberculate. Embryo small, about 1 mm long, cotyledons shorter than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 14-17 x 10-12 mm. First and second leaves simple, margins toothed. Subsequent leaves compound, the third leaf with two leaflets and the fourth leaf with three to five leaflets. Petioles clasping the stem. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves digitate with six unequal sized stalked leaflets. Compound leaf petiole bases clasping the stem. Seedling parts produce a clear exudate when cut or broken and the exudate emits an odour like that of celery (Apium graveolens) Crushed roots also emit an odour like that of celery. Seed germination time 17 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in well developed lowland and upland rain forest and gallery forest. Also found in New Guinea and other parts of Malesia.

Natural History & Notes

This plant has medicinal uses in the Andaman Islands in the treatment of toothache.

Sciadophyllum ellipticum Blume, Bijdr. : 878(1826), Type: Java, Mt Salak. Heptapleurum venulosum Seem., Journ. Bot. 3: 80(1865). Heptapleurum ellipticum Seem., Journal of Botany 3: 78(1865), Type: Asia & tropical Australia.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.